By Dan Brosgol
On these pages I’ve written before about the best trails to run in and around Bedford (see here and here for those pieces), but if you’ve spent the past year -or way more than that- hoofing around the ones everyone already uses, perhaps you’re looking for some new places to run and explore. If that’s the case, here are three lesser-utlized trails that might add some spice to your running life. Enjoy.
York Conservation Area
As you head south on the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail from Fawn Lake towards Pine Hill Road, a lovely trail winds through the woods on the western side of the path. The main trail, marked by a blue blaze, meanders through the forest and around a few low stone walls before coming back to the main path about a half-mile north of Pine Hill. For a variation, take the yellow trail that cuts off to the southwest about .4 miles from the north end of the path, which leads to the bottom of Wildwood Drive. It’s a nice distraction from the monotony of the section of the path that runs past the VA. The only downside is that the path is fairly rocky and difficult to navigate a jogging stroller through, so if you’re going to run this one, you’d be better off running it sans stroller.
Lindau Conservation Area
After you pop out onto Wildwood, I’ll give you bonus points if you run up to Pine Hill via Dana, make a left to the top of the hill, and then bang a right on the path to the water tower. Keep running past the water tower and you’ll find a pleasant route through the Lindau Conservation Area here as you meander back into town. Follow the path below the water tower down to the bottom of Fletcher or Paul Revere, keeping an eye out for the “Butterfly Way Station.” Finish up this route by running through the amusing little cut-through from the top of Ruben Doren to the sidewalk of Great Road across from Mudge Way.
Concord Road/Massport aka The Hanscom Trail
Heading west on the Reformatory Branch Trail, after you pass Caesar Jones Way a trail veers off to the left and, believe it or not, winds for almost a mile and a half between the bike path, the fence to Hanscom, and Route 62. The route is a little difficult to follow, and at times can be very wet and muddy, but it’s a fairly long trail that is usually bereft of fellow runners. It will take you through the Mary Putnam Webber Wildlife Preserve and both the Vanderhoof and Dellovo Conservation Areas, and if you play your cards right you will end up running about as close to the east-west runway as you can be without being on an airplane- perhaps even closer than you are if you run through the Hanscom FamCamp on the other side of town, or past the airfield on Virginia Road on the Lincoln/Concord Line. Depending which sections of the path you take, you can loop back to the start, come out near Lavender Lane, or directly out onto 62 right near the Concord border.
For a very good (but by no means comprehensive) list of trails in Bedford, check out the Bedford Trail Maps page on the town website by clicking here.