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Reformatory Branch Trail Concord to Arlington

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Reformatory Branch Trail Concord to Arlington

Old 01-02-17, 06:25 PM
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Reformatory Branch Trail Concord to Arlington

33 - 38 degrees, 26.4 miles round trip. 1st ride on the studs. eastern half on the Minuteman was dry but western half def needed the studs
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Old 01-03-17, 08:50 AM
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Is that an abandoned railroad right of way? If so, I find the name interesting because I work for a freight railroad and we have a track we call the "Reformatory Industrial Track."
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Old 01-03-17, 08:54 AM
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I used to live in Arlington; that's a nice ride for sure.
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Old 01-03-17, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Is that an abandoned railroad right of way? If so, I find the name interesting because I work for a freight railroad and we have a track we call the "Reformatory Industrial Track."
yes it is. but must be some common denominator to the railroad's use of the word reformatory, huh? (maybe the State Prison is the clue?)

excerpt: "Bedford is host to three rail-trails: the 11- mile Minuteman Bikeway to West Cambridge, the 3-mile Narrow-Gauge RailTrail to the Billerica town line, and the 4-mile Reformatory Branch Trail to Concord Center. This guide covers the latter. The Boston & Maine Railroad s Reformatory Branch was built in 1873 to Lowell Road in Concord and in 1879 it was continued 2.5 miles further west to Reformatory Station (across from the State Prison). There were four passenger stations on the line: Shady Hill, West Bedford, Concord and Reformatory. The branch was abandoned in 1962, and the right-of-way was purchased by Bedford and Concord"

https://www.bedforddepot.org/railtrails/RBRT_guide.pdf

Reformatory Branch Trail | Massachusetts Trails | TrailLink.com

Rail-Trails at Bedford Depot Park
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Old 01-03-17, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I used to live in Arlington; that's a nice ride for sure.
I wish the whole stretch from Concord to Arlington was a meandering dirt trail. I prefer to gear up (bike & attire) for one type of trail or another. I think I got some "looks" from city folk as if they were eyeballing the country bumpkin from the sticks venturing too far east. my noisy studs got looks fer sher when I hit dry pavement
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Old 01-03-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
yes it is. but must be some common denominator to the railroad's use of the word reformatory, huh? (maybe the State Prison is the clue?)

Likely. It's not uncommon to use the names of landmarks or even major customers to name tracks. For example, we used to own a track that served a Stroh's brewery, so it was known familiarly as the "Stroh's Industrial Track."


There was like a "reformatory" (as they used to call them) at or near the end of the branch, or at least along the way.
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Old 01-14-17, 09:46 PM
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ran this again today but added miles from home (Stowish) cuz I didn't drive the bike to the trailhead. 41+ miles round trip but I should start this ride before 12:45pm this time of year to get home before dark. the spot where the tree crushed the Great meadows trail sign has been cleaned up except for some firewood
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Old 02-06-17, 11:35 AM
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Love this! I am on the studs all winter and those days the Minuteman was lethal without them!
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Old 02-06-17, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Mass BikePike
Love this! I am on the studs all winter and those days the Minuteman was lethal without them!
saw someone yesterday (on the Minuteman paved part) on a fatbike & another running studs. I could hear them. always a good workout but wouldn't you like one more bike for when it's clean & dry?
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Old 02-06-17, 12:46 PM
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Sure, but it doesn't always make sense for me (my road bike is pretty fancy and I don't lock it up in urban areas, which is where I usually am). So I rejoice and ride happy all spring
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Old 02-06-17, 01:44 PM
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good deal. someone else just pointed out I had my tires on backwards ... lol
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Old 01-20-18, 07:51 PM
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got on it again today. temps in the mid 40s so there was an abundance of slushy snow over mud & ice






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Old 02-04-18, 09:36 AM
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did a little free style road ride yesterday & found myself at the start near Concord ctr. took it until I reached Lowell Rd. it was rideable. most of the bumpy ice pack was gone. however there was still a thin layer of hard ice. riding on the side in the crunchy leaves was OK, but I was having more fun on the road. so just a taste was good enough. mute audio

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Old 02-04-18, 12:47 PM
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Looking for info. on the Minutemen trail. I am from the New Bedford area. Where does the begin? I seem to have read a lot of riders start in Arlington or Bedford. Parking? How many miles is the path?
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Old 02-04-18, 03:42 PM
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paved start at Bedford Depot
yes to parking
bike shop & pizza shop nearby
seasonal bathrooms
visitors' ctr in Lexington has bathrooms
round trip to Arlington is just under 20 miles, 17 ~ 18 maybe

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Old 02-04-18, 03:47 PM
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If you start at Bedford how far can you ride?
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Old 02-04-18, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jsilvia
If you start at Bedford how far can you ride?
the world is your oyster but after Arlington it's city riding
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Old 02-05-18, 03:33 PM
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If go from Bedford on the Minuteman west how far does the trail go west?
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Old 02-05-18, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jsilvia
If go from Bedford on the Minuteman west how far does the trail go west?
it doesn't. that's the end of "the Minuteman"
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Old 02-27-22, 07:45 AM
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if anyone is curious about the trail conditions. went out to the nature preserve in Concord for a walk. still giving the shoulder a rest. looks like prime fat biking conditions


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Old 02-12-23, 02:21 PM
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yesterday temps were in the high 40sF but windy. just did Concord to Bedford, a little under 10 miles, round trip


side trails quiet

love riding over a pine needle bed

most dirt was fine

some, not so fine

pretty darn nice afternoon, for February

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Old 02-16-23, 04:48 AM
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even the kids are missing winter this year

probably won't need a light much longer for after work rides



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Old 02-18-23, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
even the kids are missing winter this year
Nice catch, shorts and tshirt, that could be me on that ice breaking it as an adult!

Originally Posted by rumrunn6
probably won't need a light much longer for after work rides

Love that random dirt jump. Every time I'm asking myself, am I feeling adventurous, do I take it today? Do I go around slowly?


Originally Posted by rumrunn6
Probably my favorite part of RFT, along with the field right to the east of it. Those side trails are nice (for walking)

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Old 05-30-23, 05:57 PM
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so today (because I thought dogs had to be on a leash) I spoke to two dog owners who didn't have their dogs on leash & 3 phone conversations w/ Concord Police

these are the dog leash laws for Bedford & Concord

Bedford
https://www.bedfordma.gov/280/Dog-Licenses

excerpt
  • All dogs must not be allowed to roam "at large". They must be restrained at all times or on effective voice command with a leash in hand, when off their premises.
  • There will be a fine for impoundment of dogs when picked up "at Large".
  • All owners of dogs that produce nuisance by barking, howling oestrus cycle, causing damage to property, litter and biting will be subject to citation and fine
Concord
https://concordma.gov/DocumentCenter...law-PDF?bidId=

excerpt

Section 1. No owner of a dog shall permit such dog to be outside the confines of the property of the owner unless the dog is held firmly on a leash or is under the control of its owner.

Section 2. No owner of a dog shall permit such dog:
  1. to run at large
  2. to run at large unless said dog shall have been vaccinated against rabies

according to Concord Police & the Concord animal control officer
  • if you are attacked you are within your right to defend yourself
  • a dog should be within 20 feet of the owner & obey / return to the owner when called
  • if you don't feel comfortable passing a dog off leash, it is reasonable to ask the owner to recall or leash the dog
  • ideally the dog is walking with the owner, not running around back & forth on the trail
  • there have been 15 recent dog bites (I'm assuming this Spring)

yikes maybe they should change their laws!

the law in the town where I live:
  • (town name) HAS A FULL 24 HOUR LEASH LAW, NO DOGS CAN BE ALLOWED OFF LEASH WHEN NOT ON ITS OWNER’S PROPERTY. LEASH IS DEFINED AS A STANDARD OR RETRACTABLE PHYSICAL LEASH.

both of these 2 dogs (today) were further than 20 feet from their owner






last April I was bitten by this dog in the same general area, also further than 20 feet from the owner. plus this dog DID NOT obey the owner when she tried to recall it. looked adorable to me, until it bit me



good luck using your judgement when evaluating a dog off leash!

a cpl days ago Wifey said someone was bitten by a dog in this same area & posted about it on next-door.com

within a 1/2 mile in either direction of the C. Courtney Comeau Land


https://www.google.com/maps/place/Co...fMDc?entry=ttu

like I wrote, I spoke to both owners today. the woman w/ the golden lab, said she puts her dog on leash when it's around dogs like the other one. good grief, how about you always keep your dog on a leash ppl? BEFORE anything happens

neither dog today was threatening & both returned to their owners when called. I was nice as possible to all ppl (4) in person ( 1 dog was w/ 3 ppl) plus the 3 police officers that I spoke to on the phone

but 15 recent dog bites in Concord seems high to me

HAPPY SPRING!

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Old 05-31-23, 06:03 AM
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Goodness, I agree that's a lot of incidents. And a lot of irresponsible dog ownership. I do understand the desire to let them roam free now and again but dogs and strangers on bikes is just not a good mix.

It's a constant battle. Chelmsford, where I live, has a town-wide leash requirement, but it's seen as a serving suggestion. Neighboring Carlisle and Westford do not. When we had a dog, we kept her on the leash at all times and everywhere, because she was easily spooked and had a poor recall. One memorable exception was over the line in Westford, on a walk we had taken dozens of times together, without ever seeing so much as a squirrel. Wouldn't you know, a minute after I let her off the leash, she "found" a porcupine with her muzzle. That was a painful experience for her, and for our wallet ($400 vet bill, I think). And they don't learn! Vet said they often see it happen to the same dog again.
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