Groton, MA on Nashua River Rail Trail

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.

The trail crosses over Rt. 119 in Groton on a nicely rehabbed bridge.

The trail crosses over Rt. 119 in Groton on a nicely rehabbed bridge.

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.

Local students painted the walls of the trail's underpass at Rt. 225 with scenes of area history.

Local students painted the walls of the trail’s underpass at Rt. 225 with scenes of area history.

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.

The best-maintained and most informative kiosk along the NRRT.

The best-maintained and most informative kiosk along the NRRT.

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.

Marker on Main Street in Groton, a short distance from the trail.

Marker on Main Street in Groton, a short distance from the trail.

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.

"P" is for Portland, Maine, 114 miles from Groton by way of the old Boston & Maine rail line.

“P” is for Portland, Maine, 114 miles from Groton by way of the old Boston & Maine rail line.

Crowning the day was an abundance of Queen Anne’s Lace all along the trail.

Queen Anne's Lace is at full strength in July.

Queen Anne’s Lace is at full strength in July.

 

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