Opening aqueduct trails to the public


Project background

Weston Aqueduct trailsMore than 40 miles of trails exist along the historic Weston, Sudbury, Cochituate, and Wachusett aqueducts. These aqueducts and resevoirs are part of an emergency backup system and are no longer in daily use for supplying water to the Greater Boston area, yet the land remained closed to the public for many years. 

In July 1998, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), in cooperation with MAPC and the communities in Metro West, published a study on the feasibility of authorizing public access to retired aqueduct right of ways (ROW).

In the spring of 2012, MAPC revived the effort to open these trails to the public by working with the MWRA and municipalities. 

Watch our video on the aqueducts trail opening

MAPC's role

ribbon cutting at Weston Aqueduct trail openingMAPC staff are providing technical assistance to the MWRA and communities along the aqueduct trails to help develop the planning and design changes necessary for making these trails available for public use. On October 22, 2012, a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Weston Aqueduct in Framingham marked the first section of the trails officially opened to the public. 

Natick, Newton, Wellesley, Weston, Southborough, and Northborough, have started or are near completion of the necessary application process for opening aqueduct trails. The towns of Berlin, Clinton, Marlborough, Needham, Sherborn, and Wayland, as well as several sections of Boston, also have MWRA aqueducts where trails will eventually be opened, after holding public hearings and signing a formal agreement with the MWRA.

MAPC staff time for working with the communities on this project is funded through the Middlesex Community Transformation Grant.

Questions?

For more information about the aqueducts trail project, contact Mariana Arcaya at marcaya@mapc.org or David Loutzenheiser at dloutzenheiser@mapc.org.