Route: Western Greenway (MA)

Location
Massachusetts, US
Description

The Western Greenway is located almost entirely inside the triangle bounded on the northeast by Concord Avenue in Lexington and Belmont, on the southeast by the MBTA commuter rail and the now-abandoned Mass Central Rail line, and to the west by Lexington Street in Waltham. To be sure, there has been a significant amount of development inside this triangle. But there are also significant swaths of green space. The green space comprises various parcels, some of which are publicly-owned and have been designated as parks or conservation land. There are other publicly-owned parcels whose future is still undetermined, and there are some undeveloped parcels along the Greenway that are privately-owned.

Some portions of the Greenway have well-established trails that are suitable for walking and hiking. Other portions of the Greenway contain dense vegetation, not to mention thorns, brambles, and poison ivy, making human use all but impossible at this time. One long-term objective of the Waltham Land Trust, together with partner organizations like the Friends of the Western Greenway, is to construct a trail system throughout the entire Western Greenway. This will involve designing the most suitable locations for the trails, obtaining permissions and easements from the various landowners, and performing the work of actually clearing, marking, and maintaining the trails. The Greenway Map identifies the areas with existing trails, and shows the areas where new trails might be constructed in the future.

Jason DeJoannis submitted an out & back route in this complex of trails:

The trail starts in Waltham on Beaver St near the corner of Forest Rd. Follow the green Western Greenway markers north. Cross Trapelo road and head east to Belmont. Cross Walnut street and go through Beaver Brook North Reservation, Rock Meadow, Lone Tree Hill and the Habitat. Exit the Habitat via right on Juniper St left on Somerset leading to the habitat annex entrance on right. Follow markers to post in field at access path. This is the turnaround point. Same route back.

Note that the route on our map shows an extra loop on the west side of the out & back.

FKTs

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Comments

As of 2018, the trail is fully blazed and accessible. From end to end it is 6.84 miles by my tracks. Markers are easily missed in the foliage, or through the Habitat with its crisscrossing trails. Please be respectful of the Habitat as it is an Audubon preserve and has nesting birds and turtles etc. Groups should spread out and go gently, mindful of hikers and animals.