The Leominster Trail Stewards are dedicated to maintaining and improving the quality of the extensive hiking trails throughout Leominster. Click on the picture of the stairs at Barrett Park to learn more about these efforts...
The Leominster Trail Stewards have created several detailed hike descriptions that vary in degree from easy to difficult. Click on the area at the right for a list of printable hike descriptions ...
"What if ... A Trail Vision for the City of Leominster"
by Dick O'Brien
So, what if you could hike/walk to every part of the city? What if every neighborhood was connected to each other, what if we had bike paths and hiking paths to all the neat areas in the city?
Is that vision impossible in Leominster?
Not really, but it will take some planning and deliberate action on the part of city officials if that vision is ever to become a reality.
First, one would have to build the support for such a vision and that would be a tall order in this city. Not impossible, but not easy. There are those who see the value in this kind of community and the quality of life that it suggests and encourages, but it has not been the type of development that the city has actively encouraged in the past 25 years.
Second, one would have to develop a comprehensive plan that locates the trails and connections and assigns a priority to making it happen. Again, not impossible, but not an easy thing to accomplish in a city as large and developed as Leominster and with as many capital projects in need of completion. Some of the needed connections would have to be on city roads and streets. This is not the ideal trail corridor, but it can work and has in many communities.
Third, recruit and train a workforce to construct the trails and put the network together. Definitely not impossible since that workforce is growing each year in the group called The Leominster Trail Stewards.
The Leominster Trail Stewards mission is one of assisting the City in building, maintaining, enhancing and enlarging the trail network on public and private lands that allow public access and promoting appropriate use and activities on these trails. They have worked on trail networks at Prospect Park, Barrett Park, Sholan Farm, and the watershed lands on the west side of the city. Much has been accomplished, but much more needs to be done and more help is needed.
As their efforts continue, the trail networks on these properties will be completed and it will be time to make the connections between these properties. An early vision suggests that there can be a large loop trail that encircles the city connecting Sholan Farms, Barrett Park, Doyle Field, the Mall at Whitney Field, the Lane/Comerford Conservation Area along the Nashua River, Lincoln Woods and back to Sholan Farms. This vision also includes the completion of the rail trail connecting Leominster with Fitchburg, it includes trail connections across Route 2 to Fitchburg and the new commuter rail station in West Fitchburg. It includes connections to Sterling, Lancaster, Princeton, and Lunenburg as well. It looks to make all new trails sustainable and accessible to as many users as possible.
If you like the idea of a community whose neighborhoods are connected to one another and to its neighboring towns and the positive impacts this can have, get involved in helping to shape this vision and make it a reality for Leominster.
The Leominster Trail Stewards needs your help.
The photograph below is one of the many beautiful pictures taken throughout the Leominster Trails System. Click on the photograph to see more of what is available while hiking in Leominster ...
Leominster Native, Hiking Expert, and Author
has a newly published book
Before They're Gone—A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks
from Beacon Press
Watch a trailer on YouTube
A beautiful book that weaves a great story of parenting, hiking in America's National Parks, and the growing concerns of a climate change.
-- Michael Lanza:
Living across the country in Boise, Idaho, can sometimes feel very far from my hometown. But when I visit my parents and siblings in Leominster every year, see old friends and get out again for a hike or run on the wonderful trails that the Leominster Trail Stewards have built and maintain, I feel very connected to the town where I grew up. I started hiking in New England and enjoy every opportunity to get out again on the trails here.
In my new book, Before They're Gone—A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks, from Beacon Press, I write about spending a year embarking on wilderness adventures with my wife, Penny, our nine-year-old son, Nate, and our seven-year-old daughter, Alex, in national parks that, because of climate change,are likely to be very different places by the time my kids are my age.
Within often-humorous travel narratives about our backpacking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, and canoeing trips in ten parks, I weave the science story about how the warming climate is singularly affecting each park. Based on exhaustive reading of scientific literature and interviews with leading researchers, that more-serious side of my book goes beyond the usual tales of melting glaciers and rising seas to examine the complex interactions of climate, the physical environment, and native flora and fauna. I also contemplate what these changes will mean to future visitors—such as my grown kids, should they someday repeat our adventures.
Most of all, it is a book about a family's special experiences in these magnificent places, and how we shared and were affected by them. I hope it helps inspire others to visit our national parks.
You can read more about the book, an excerpt, and reviews, and find links to where to buy the book at my website TheBigOutside