- Aberjona River Headwaters Trail
- Town Forest Boardwalk Repairs
- HIggins Conservation Area Bridge Replacement
- Bare Meadow Bog Bridges
- Pinevale Boardwalks Rebuilt
- Cranberry Dam Trail Rebuild
- Kurchian Woods Boardwalk
- Bare Meadow Trail Improvements
- Bare Meadow Wildlife Viewing Platform & Mattera Accessible Trail
Completed in December 2020, the Aberjona River Headwaters Trail brings a new recreational opportunity to the center of town. The trail is in the Maillet Conservation Area. Trailheads are at Hunt Street, Lowell Street (across from Intervale Terrace), and Willow Street (adjacent to the railroad tracks). There is a pleasant meadow at the Willow Street trailhead and the Aberjona River bridge (pictured left) is an excellent spot for wildlife watching. View the Aberjona River Headwaters Trail Map (PDF).
The trail crosses the Aberjona River near its headwaters. The Aberjona itself is one of the headwaters for the Mystic River Watershed.
The trail was funded by a 2018 Recreational Trails Program grant from the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation. Over 600 hours of labor was contributed by Reading Trails Committee members and by other members of the community. Reading DPW contributed by installing a kiosk and by dropping woodchips that were spread on the trail by nearby families. The kiosk was donated by neighbors.
The Reading Trails Committee extends a huge thanks to the volunteers who helped lengthen the Town Forest boardwalk in August of 2017. An existing boardwalk section was lifted and a new 10' ramp was added to span the muddy stretch at the Wood End end. We had 12 volunteers (in addition to committee members from the Trails and Town Forest Committees) for a total of over 60 hours of volunteer time. Thanks especially to our junior trail builders including two scouts from Troop 702! They took direction from Trails Committee member Will Finch and were true professionals. Other volunteers trimmed overhanging branches and pulled buckthorn along the trail. We hope you'll get out there and check out their work!
View the Town Forest Trail Map (PDF).
Girl Scout Brownie Troop 62779 from Birch Meadow Elementary School reported that the Higgins bridge was in poor repair in November of 2016. The Trails Committee removed the old bridge and DPW hauled away the material. Later the Scouts helped carry materials to the site and inspected the new bridge upon completion.
The Higgins trail is a popular shortcut from Grove, Henzie, and Criterion Streets to the Birch Meadow area playing fields and schools. View the Higgins Trail Map (PDF).
During the summer and fall of 2015 the Committee built three short bog bridges in Bare Meadow and raised the treadway on the white-blazed trail. A new bridge was built on the red trail the following spring. The projects were prompted by springtime standing water on these trails. See the Committee's Facebook page for more photos.
Thanks to the volunteers who helped and to DPW who brought in fill for the white trail. All projects were permitted under the town-wide trail permit approved by the Conservation Commission.
View the Bare Meadow Trail Map (PDF).
Boardwalks and bridges in Pinevale were shored-up in November 2014. The loop trail is now passable, though it is still muddy in spots. View the Pinevale Trail Map (PDF).
The Cranberry Dam trail in Reading Town Forest was rebuilt in June 2014. A handful of high school and college-age volunteers joined adult volunteers; we accomplished a lot! The Cranberry Dam bridge had previously been replaced by Eagle Scout candidate Noah Hennings. Trail improvements were made to both approaches to the bridge because the trail was narrow, full of roots, and sloped badly. It's a beautiful spot - check it out!
In 2011 the Town was awarded a Recreational Trails Grant from the State to rebuild the boardwalk at Kurchian Woods. The boardwalk is now complete. Thanks to the many volunteers, to the Reading Municipal Light Department, and to Reading's DPW for their help! We hope residents and visitors will check it out. 380 feet of the boardwalk is a fun start to a scenic hike.
View the Kurchian Woods Trail Map (PDF).
In 2008 the Conservation Commission and Trails Committee received a Recreational Trails Grant from the State to improve the Ipswich River Greenway in Bare Meadow. Thanks to the MA Recreational Trails Program for making this project possible. Reading DPW and volunteers filled several low, wet spots in the trail. Volunteers also installed two benches along the Mattera Accessible Trail in honor of Understanding Disabilities founder, Judy LeBlanc. In 2009 and 2010 two sections of boardwalk were built completing the Greenway to Haverhill Street. Over 400 hours of volunteer time was contributed.
In the fall of 2008, volunteers built a wildlife viewing platform in Bare Meadow Conservation Area using a grant from Recreation Equipment Incorporated (REI). The platform can be reached by an accessible trail from the Mattera Conservation Area. Low to the ground and wheelchair accessible, the platform provides a comfortable vantage point overlooking Bare Meadow. Over 300 hours of volunteer time were contributed to build the platform, remove buckthorn (an invasive species), and improve trails. The project was planned and coordinated by Reading's Trails Committee; the design was contributed by Reading resident Mark Wetzel and his son Jeff Wetzel. Special thanks to REI and to Friends of Reading Recreation.