Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Weston-Wayland Aqueduct Trail

It's must be roasting 90+ American degrees outside now and unfortunately, it seems that we will have to somehow survive this weather for the next 2 weeks. I'm glad I have showers available at my workplace, otherwise, I can't picture cycling to work and not getting sweaty. Even early in the morning it's already 75F (24C). They only time I can go for a ride and make it somehow enjoyable is either at night or during the first 3 hours after dawn. This limits my day trips to short, 40-55km (25-35mi) routes.

The last weekend I started early at 5:30am and drove to Wayland to explore the new Weston Aqueduct Trail. The section between Elm St and Water St has been opened just last year and apparently, it's the only part of the trail officially open to public - something I found out after the fact. I entered the trail somewhat illegally at Pine Brook Rd where the access is "blocked" by a simple chain. If you decide to redo my route you will see multiple of such chains and even more regular gates restricting access to the Aqueduct. This certainly makes the ride less pleasant but not impossible as there are gaps in fencing where you can get through.
Speaking about the ride, the trail is officially open to bicyclists but I think this refers again to the short section beginning at Elm Street. The part I rode was not very bike-friendly. It was basically a stretch of hard-packed soil with short grass growing all over it and occasional roots running full width across. There is no clear path that your bike will want to follow. The roots make it difficult to enjoy the ride at full speed, unless you come prepared on a suspended mountain bike.
Apparently CK really loved this place. I didn't.

There are multiple towers along the trail. I imagine those must be either some kind of service or pumping stations for the old aqueduct. Then there are places I simply can't imagine riding a bike in. Certainly not for an average Joe. One of them is right after you cross Old Connecticut Path. The trail continues on the other side of this road but when I saw it I only thought "You've got the be FFF*** kidding me!". The next water tower sits on top of a steep hill. The picture below doesn't really show the true scale of this climb but let's just say I can't picture anyone sane to attempt riding a bike there. I had to dismount and push my bike uphill.

Fortunately, the trail gets a bit flatter next and more manageable. At some point you will be crossing Sudbury River over a narrow bridge. As you can see in the picture, someone definitely doesn't want people to ride bikes across the bridge as its access is guarded by steel poles.
The rest of the trail is the same story - grass, roots, bumps and just boring surroundings in general. I have a feeling this place is more for dog walkers and short hikes with family. It's too boring for weekend bicyclists and too bumpy for regular commuters. Not too mention, bloody steep in places.
Being a bit disappointed, I continued through Sudbury to Wayside Inn Estate with the historic Grist Mill I visited already once before. From there, it's definitely worth riding through the conservation area along Lincoln Rd, Sherman's Bridge Rd and Water Row Rd. I hardly see any car traffic there and this place is rich in wildlife, especially if you can be there very early in the morning.
I've been to Sudbury area a few times already and I have my favorite places there. Unfortunately, Weston Aqueduct Trail is not going to be one of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment