Route: ACROSS Lexington Challenge (MA)

Location
Massachusetts, US
Description

ACROSS Lexington, is a 40-mile network of marked trails and paths for walkers, runners and bikers that spans the Town of Lexington (Massachusetts). The routes use existing public ways to connect the town center with various historic sites, schools and conservation areas.

The ACROSS Lexington Challenge is to to connect all the marked network in a single run, as efficiently as possible (therefore, people's routes may vary), using the map available at: https://www.lexingtonma.gov/sites/lexingtonma/files/uploads/acrossroutesa-m.pdf

Guidelines for the run:
1) Run every part of the ACROSS Lexington network (sections A-M, there's no I for some reason) at least once, in a single run. You can start anywhere along the network and run the Network in any order/direction/way you want (adhering to the guidelines). Part of the challenge is mapping the most efficient route. The Challenge is based on the total time to run every part of the network (so mileage may be longer or shorter).

2) Section M is planned to be complete in 2020. Even though it is not marked as of 4/25/20, it must be included (it's on the newest map on the ACROSS Lexington website).

3) For sections that have to be repeated (ie, out-and-back), if it is more efficient to get back to the start of the out-and-back by not following the ACROSS Lex network that is allowed. Just be sure to cover each section of the network at least once.

4) Section F is a dead-end. For the challenge, it was made into a loop by going over Fiske Hill in the Minuteman Historic park (at the terminus of Section F), going through the parking lot on the other side, then returning across the street, back uphill along the crushed gravel path in the Historic Park. At the top of the hill of the gravel path, turn left on Fairview Ave, then left onto Wood St. at the T intersection. Follow Wood St. until taking a right onto Conestoga Rd. There is a sign marking the boundary of a Lexington Conservation area about 100 yards down Conestoga Rd. Turn right into the conservation area, then follow the trails towards the highway, staying as close to the highway as possible until you get back to the Minuteman Bikeway. Take the bikeway back toward Lexington Center. (reverse if doing Section F in reverse).

5) There are a few places where the official network trail goes a little past an intersection to a crosswalk and then back to the intersection - go all the way to the crosswalks.

6) You need to start/finish in the same spot.

The first run on 4/25/20 was started/finished in the parking lot of Berman's Liquors on Mass Ave because it is easy for others to access, even via public transport. This is on section J, very close to section C and the Minuteman Bikeway (which makes this starting point easily accessible via running/biking from Boston along the Bikeway as well). It ended up being 40.17 miles. It is definitely possible that a more efficient route may be possible.
 

-submitted by Josh Katzman

GPS Track