Holliston Foot Trail
The Holliston Greenbelt is an idea that dates back 30 years to connect many of the town’s open spaces and create a route between the recently completed Upper Charles Rail Trail and Ashland State Park. A spur trail would connect to Warren Woods in Ashland. The corridor is envisioned as a foot trail, using both existing trails in conservation lands, as well construction of new trails through other parcels.
The general alignment for the trail and spur has been identified at the parcel level. Several of the parcels have conservation restrictions however do not have public access, particularly the Poitras properties. Mass Audubon has control over access permitting of these parcels. A study by Beals and Thomas of these parcels will be evaluated.
Section 1 – Factory Pond
The Factory Pond Conservation Area is a network of trails accessed via the adjacent Placentino Elementary School. There is a trail easement (unbuilt) on an adjacent private parcel that connects to Woodland Street and the Rail Trail. The goal of this section of trail is to connect to Washington Street and the existing trails beyond. However there currently is no trail connection. Two options should be considered further: Factory Pond to the Housing Authority complex – This is the most direct alternative that would require (in addition to approvals from the land owners), construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Winthrop Canal. Linden/Washington Streets – This is a more circuitous route that avoids bridge construction by passing through school grounds west of the school to Linden St and then Washington Street.
Section 2 – Poltras Parcels
The Poitras parcels are number of parcels on the east side of Highland Street that are owned by the Poitras family. Many but not all parcels have a conservation restriction preventing further development, with the exception of APR parcels that may have limited agricultural development. All of the Poitras parcels west of Mellen Street do not currently allow public access. Mass Audubon is currently managing the lands under a conservation restriction.