Exploring the Bay Circuit trail

Bay Circuit Trail, Southborough, MA

A few weeks ago I came across an editorial in the Boston Globe about the Bay Circuit trail, a 173-mile trail that winds its way through 34 towns outside of Boston. The editorial said the Bay Circuit Alliance was looking to connect fragmented portions of the trail, including one in Southborough.

It was the first I’d heard of the Bay Circuit Trail, and despite growing up here, I had no idea it ran through Southborough. So, of course, I had to track it down.

The Southborough leg of the Bay Circuit Trail starts on Parmenter Road west of the Harvard Primate Center (map). It follows the Sudbury Reservoir until it approaches the Fayville Dam. That’s where hikers run into trouble. From the Globe editorial:

The MWRA has allowed the alliance to mark a trail through part of the reservoir land, but for security reasons after the Sept. 11 attacks it refused access to a crucial link in Southborough. Hikers now are diverted onto busy Route 30.

The Bay Circuit Alliance has requested access to the MWRA land. So far they haven’t received approval, but I’ll let you know if they do.

So, what is the Bay Circuit Trail in Southborough like? In a word: overgrown. It’s an easy walk, but the trail is in need of some maintenance. If you go, bring the bug spray and wear long pants.

The first tenth of a mile or so is lovely:

Bay Circuit Trail, Southborough, MA

After that, things get a bit weedy (a note to any Eagle Scout candidates out there — wouldn’t cleaning up this trail make for a great service project?):

Bay Circuit Trail, Southborough, MA

At the tenth-of-a-mile mark, the trail diverges. We took the main path because it could accommodate a stroller (sort-of), but the other path looked more interesting — narrower, windier, and less overgrown. Has anyone been on it?

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