Summer 2020 Social Distancing Hikes
As we have previously mentioned, this summer we will continue with Social Distance hiking. However, instead of having families pick their own routes, we are providing a selection of 6 hikes, 2 of which are bike hikes. Scouts who wish to participate will receive hiking credit for one hike per month, one of which may be a bike hike. (Participation in these hikes will count towards the National Summertime Activity Award, as will the other activities which will be sent in a separate email.) Below are the options, as well as some more information about these trails. Should you find that conditions change, please let us know so that we can look into other alternatives.
The maps for these hikes are linked in the name of the hike below:
1. Blackstone River Bikeway (from Uxbridge to Blackstone) This is an approximately 7-mile (3.5 mile each way) bike ride and Scouts will receive credit for a 3-mile hike. This trail is flat and straight and is suitable for all levels of riders. It is mostly shady and has one road crossing. There is an ice cream shop across from a playground (currently closed) near the Blackstone Parking area, should you wish to stop for a treat. Please reference the attached map for addresses of the parking lots (labeled as D and F).
2. Upper Charles Trail (Milford) This is a slightly more challenging trail with some hills and turns. This route is just under 8 miles (about 4 miles each way) and Scouts will receive credit for a 4-mile hike. There are also 5 road crossings (2 of which are on/off ramps for 495). All of the crossings have stop signs/lights for the oncoming traffic. Trail management is encouraging users to wear masks. This trail goes from Route 85 in Milford (near the Hopkinton line) to the Fino Field recreation area. (Trailhead # 3 and 4 on the attached map.)
3. Hassanamesit Woods (Grafton) This is a 2-mile loop trail located off of Salisbury Street in Grafton. There is limited street parking available. Attached you will find a trail map as well as historical information for the area.
4. Mt. Wachusett (Princeton) If you follow the route as described and shown on the attached map, you will get credit for a 4-mile hike. Starting at the parking area on Westminster Rd, take the Stage Coach Rd/Trail to Harrington Trail, to the Link Trail, to the Mountain House Trail to the summit. For the return, take the Mountain House Trail, to the Jack Frost Trail to the Lower Link Trail, to Administration Rd, which will bring you back to the parking area. We are hearing reports that Mt. Wachusett is a popular area, so please take this into consideration when deciding when to do this hike.
5. Ashland State Park (Ashland) This is a 3-mile loop trail. Areas near the beach, picnic area, and dam may be more crowded, but the loop around the lake isn’t so bad. We have seen reports of the parking area being temporarily closed when officials feel that the area has reached a maximum safe capacity, but they do re-open the lot once people start to leave.
6. Grand Trunk Trail (Sturbridge) This is a 5-mile hike that includes a loop around a lake as well as an out and back section. For the out and back section of the hike, the trail is above the parking lot and has a cattle gate. It runs parallel to the Old Mashapaug Rd which is closer to the river. The turn-around spot is the Calcutt Bridge. Although the trail does continue for a short distance after this point, it becomes a narrow track. A small section of the hike around the lake is on a road. Limited parking can be found at the Westville Recreation Area off Shepard Rd or at the Westville Dam at the Northern edge of the Lake. Due to limited parking at both locations, if the weather is especially nice, it might be best to do this hike earlier in the day. Please see the attached trail map for additional information.