By Dan Brosgol
Last week I took a stab at some fun trail running routes of the long-ish variety in and around Bedford. Today I’ll focus on a slightly different topic: showcasing three shorter trail runs and three interesting paths/cut-throughs that you might enjoy on your travels through the town.
Fun Little Roads
As you head east on Sweetwater up from North Road and go past the Lane School and Fawn Lake, the road dead-ends. Don’t despair, runners and dog-walkers, there is a lovely path that winds through the woods and spits you out onto Fawn Circle.
In the neighborhood between Brooksbie Road, Great Road, and Page Road there is a random dirt path. After Orchard Road intersects with Oregon Ave, the path heads north for about 50 feet and then the pavement ends. A wooded path then continues about 100 yards before ending at a driveway and turning right to put you at the end of Alaska Avenue.
Bridging the Shawsheen
My favorite sneaky and secret path has three terminals—one in the back of the Stop and Shop parking lot, one at the bottom of Bridge Street, and one in the back of the last building at the Preston Court off of Wiggins Avenue. The shortest path runs across the Shawsheen River between Preston and Bridge, but the little spur that runs north to Stop and Shop is a nice little treat.
Three Other Trails
Hartwell Town Forest
This 160-acre parcel is bracketed by Hartwell Road, South Road, and Hanscom. You can enter from numerous access points, but most commonly I hop on from Hartwell or from across from Tilden Street and the airfield. Click here to view the trail map
Highlight: Bedford’s Community Gardens
Watch out for: Muddy areas year-round, mosquitoes in season, and Hartwell Brook, which you just can’t get across— and is why you can’t run the blue trail end-to-end.
The Middlesex Community College Fitness Trail
A 1.25-mile loop that winds through the forest behind the Campus Center and ends at Orchard Road, this trail’s has fitness stations interspersed throughout, a few fun boardwalks, and a decent hill as well.
Highlight (but use caution): You will come across a beautiful pond, nestled in between the Fitness Trail and Route 3.
Watch out for—If you’re tired, the hill beneath the Campus Center is a tough one. It’s always at the end of the annual 5K they have at Middlesex and after 20 minutes of running all out, it hurts.
Two Brothers Rocks
This one is a winner. There are a few ways to access the trails in this 230-acre area, including one from my parents’ backyard, and in a few minutes you’ll find yourself out in Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and the famous historical site where Misters Winthrop and Dudley divided their land in 1638. From various points on Huckins Farm/Dudley Road it’s about a one-mile trip out to the Rocks; click to use the trail map to guide you.
Highlights: Lazy deer, the lovely river, and the very cool rocks.
Watch out for: The mosquitoes are awful in summer, and make a wrong turn and you’ll end up wandering into one of the farms on Dudley Road in Billerica.