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Upper Charles Trail Extension

The eventual creation of a greenway trail will provide a new gateway to Framingham.

The goal of this advocacy campaign is to extend the existing Upper Charles Trail (UTC) in Milford, Holliston, and Ashland the last two and a half miles through Sherborn to downtown Framingham. This could be accomplished in the short term with a rail-with-trail strategy to accommodate trains that occasionally use the tracks owned by CSX. In the long term it may be possible to purchase the entire corridor for walking, biking and conservation.

Completing the UTC will a) unlock access to a reconnected Bay Circuit Trail and hundreds of acers of conservation, b) provide direct access to commuter rail for communities to the south, c) provide a vital recreational outlet for one of the largest environmental justice populations in the state, and d) help grow businesses in downtown Framingham.    Gaining control of this expansive corridor could also provide a rare opportunity to reconnect fragmented habitat, replant trees, and expand flood storage.  Finally, The Upper Charles Rail Trail, once it is extended north by way of the Chris Walsh Trail to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail and Mass Central Trail, will form a critical link in the statewide MassTrails Network and the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway from Maine to Florida.

Current Status: The MassTrails team considers the unfinished Upper Charles Trail to be one of its top rail trail priorities going forward and is working on a coordinated  land acquisition strategy.   The newly formed MetroWest Greenway Coalition continues to work with local and state officials and to engage with the public to gain their input.    

Statewide regional trail context
Timeline
DateMilestone
2022Initiated site site visits and convened stakeholders
2022Organized the MetroWest Greenway Coalition
2022Presentation to the MassTrails team
2023MetroWest presentation at Framingham City Hall
2023MassTrails coordination with Rail and Transit
2024MassDOT to discuss alternatives with CSX

Project Details

Initiated
  • 2022
Foundation Investments to date
  • $46,250
Partner Investments
  • $0
Estimated Cost to Complete
  • TBD
Key Partners
  • MetroWest Greenway Coalition
  • MassTrails team
  • City of Framingham
  • Town of Sherborn
  • East Coast Greenway Alliance
Consultants
  • Aerial Attitude
  • Green Lens Productions
Status

• Feasibility study underway for near term rail-with-trail option

Map/Directions

Master map page

Photo Gallery

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