I headed south of the border into Massachusetts on the Nashua River Rail Trail for a walk through the Groton stretch. Of the four towns along the trail, Groton is where the history of the rail line is most evident. The town is also home to the most park-like section of the trail, situated within the J. Harry Rich State Forest.
The harsh shadows in the photos are from the full midday sun, cheerfully blazing away on a summer day.
There are three trailheads in Groton, with the most parking available off of Broadmeadow Street. Smaller unpaved lots are at Sand Hill Road and Common Street.
There are no “facilities” along the way, so to speak, but near the trailhead at Broadmeadow Road are a couple of benches and an informational kiosk. The posted information and illustrations are worth a look.
Groton is one of those genteel places with strict zoning laws that keep commercial signs tiny. How am I supposed to find the nearest place to buy a large iced beverage? That kiosk near Broadmeadow has a bonus: a map of Main Street and the roads connecting it to the trail, with nearby businesses listed. That large iced beverage is only a short walk away.
Some of the old rail line’s granite mile markers are still in place, and they’re kept painted by area volunteers. “P” is for Portland, Maine, and “W” is for Worcester, Massachusetts – once upon a time, the two ends of a line of the Boston and Maine Railroad. Of the 120 or so miles of that old line, twelve miles now make up the Nashua River Rail Trail.
Crowning the day was an abundance of Queen Anne’s Lace all along the trail.