This Saturday, October 2, 2021, the Middlesex Canal Association and the Middlesex Canal Commission will sponsor the 19th annual historic bicycle tour of the Middlesex Canal. After several years when we could not take the train back, the Lowell train is running again on weekends, and we will be able to take the train back to Boston, arriving about quarter after 4. Masks are required for the train ride.
The Canal was the “big dig” of the end of the 18th century. Completed in 1803 after 10 years of construction, the Canal connected the Merrimac River in what is now Lowell with the Charles River at Sullivan Square in Charlestown. In many ways it served as a model for later canals including the Erie Canal. The Canal remained in operation for 50 years, providing both passenger and freight service, but could not compete successfully with the Boston and Lowell Railroad which began operation in the 1830’s.
The ride will start at the Canal marker on the front of the Sullivan Square MBTA station just to the right of the main entrance. We will leave promptly at 9:00am. From there we will ride about 28 miles to the Historic Mill Village and Canal Museum on the Millpond in North Billerica. We should get to North Billerica in time to catch the 3:38pm train back to Boston. Halfway to Billerica, we will make a lunch stop in Woburn, so we recommend that you bring a lunch.
Most of the route is pretty flat and level and we will average about 10 miles per hour, so the ride should be an easy one for most cyclists. Along the way we will stop at a number of remnants and restored sections of the Canal, as well as the Mansion of Loammi Baldwin, the chief engineer of the Canal (who discovered the Baldwin apple while building the Canal), one of the remaining aqueducts (which carried the Canal over rivers and brooks), and will get to walk along the bed of the canal and see traces of the ropes that connected the hoses to the canal boats.
The ride will be led by Dick Bauer and Bill Kuttner of the Middlesex Canal Commission. Helmets and masks required. Steady rain cancels. For more information, contact Dick at [email protected] (857-540-6293) or Bill at [email protected].
For more information about the Middlesex Canal and the Middlesex Canal Association go to: http://www.middlesexcanal.org
For more information about the Middlesex Canal Commission go to: http://www.middlesexcanal.org/commission/
Cue sheet for the Oct 2, 2010 Ride (similar to what is planned for Oct 2021)
Charlestown, MA 02129
Google map and directions