with the Grand Trunk Trailblazers. Over this year volunteers removed trees and brush, improved slope between the existing bridges, removed trash, and began preparation of the surface to receive gravel.
Old Growth Trail The Old Growth Trail is a new section of trial cut in this year by volunteers. This is a short trail with a small loop that provides a view of the North pond. The trail highlights what best exemplifies what an old growth forest looks like, with large white pine trees and open forest floor with sections of ferns. Additional improvements are planned including repair of the bridge deck, trail tread surface, grade improvements, a new sign and view enhancements.
Grand Trunk Trail The Grand Trunk Trail is part of the 66 mile Titanic Rail Trail that we are fortunate to have 6 miles of running through Sturbridge. The original rail bed roughly parallels the Quinebaug River and is a unique piece of history for this area dating back to early 1900. The promoters of the trail envision a non motorized trail running from Franklin MA in the East to Palmer MA in the West.
Grand Trunk Trail Westville Section Over the past year the Trails Committee has been working to make improvements to the section of Grand Trunk Trail Westville Section. The area of work originates at the US Army Corps of Engineers Westville Recreation Area parking lot and continues West to the Ed Calcutt Bridge, a distance of 1.5 miles. The work is part of a $97,000.00 project that includes a grant of $35,600.00 from Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. In addition to the grant, work is being accomplished by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Town of Sturbridge, in the form of cash and work in kind. Opacum Land Trust has also endorsed support of the project. Initial engineering and permitting has been accomplished along with initial work on USACE section. The Trails Committee is appreciative of the assistance that the Sturbridge Department of Public Works is providing in this effort. Work will be on going in 2010.
Grand Trunk Trail Ed Calcutt Bridge to River / Farquhar Rd This ¾ mile section of the Grand Trunk Trail is being constructed principally utilizing a Federal Highway Transportation Fund grant. The total project is valued at$590,460.00, broken down as federal $490,283.00, state $85,977.00, and the Town of Sturbridge matching $10,600.00. The state will manage the project under Mass DOT. We are currently awaiting the final state acceptance of CME & Associates design, engineering and permitting costs along with a final go ahead from the federal government.
Future Projects In addition to the items noted previously and with the winding down of work on the Heins Farm trails, the Trails Committee has started the initial steps required for work in two new areas. The work includes two replacement crossings on the West side of the Leadmine Mountain Wild Life Management Area and replacement of a washed out culvert on the Grand Trunk Trail River Lands section. The Trails Committee is in the process of constructing a storage shed to house the variety of materials and tools that are accumulated for ongoing work. The shed is being built by the Tantasqua High School