Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bedford Isn't The End of the Line: Part II (Taking a Right Turn)

An Ewok threw a rock at me after I took this.
My exploration of the sylvan byways of Metro-West Boston continued with a ride on the Narrow-Gauge Rail-Trail in Bedford.

This may look familiar if you biked the trail
...after eating mushrooms.
Recently, I made my first foray onto the Reformatory Branch Trail between Bedford and Concord.  I found miles of single and double track leading into the center of Concord, a number of side trails demanding further exploration, and I also found goats.  This is where a left turn from the end of the Minuteman Trail brings you.

So what about a right turn?  Would you believe me if I said you would be transported to Great Brook Farm? No?  Well I wouldn't believe me either.

In truth, the Narrow Gauge trail doesn't run all the way to Great Brook Farm, but it does come pretty darn close.  Only four Falling-Down-free miles separate the end of the rail trail from mountain biking bliss and the most decadent ice cream this side of the Connecticut River.

But you don't have to go all the way to Carlisle for some flowy singletrack.  If you're hungry for racing through tight trees you can duck into the York Conservation area, Fawn Lake or Wilderness Park, which are all within a stone's throw of the Narrow Gauge.

The Narrow Gauge, while shorter than the Reformatory Branch Trail, is smoother, wider and drier.  In addition, with the numerous side trails, there are more options for single track adventures.

From Arlington, a healthy pace will get you to the end of the Narrow Gauge and back in about an hour and a half.  This doesn't leave a lot of daylight for sightseeing, but the reward of extra time to do the singletrack loops is good motivation to keep the pace up.

Gladly, I did not see a fawn in Fawn Lake.


  1. Thanks guys. Brian can vouch that I had plenty of practice with Weekly Reader when we were growing up.