State to make Metrowest aqueduct trails more accessible

A map of the aqueducts
A map of the aqueducts

The unusual trails, a secret to many people, run through 14 communities—along the grassy tops of old aqueducts that once brought water to Boston.

Now state officials say they are going to make those trails more accessible to the public.

Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan and Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Executive Director Fred Laskey today announced the new policy.

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“This policy is a great example of promoting multiple environmental goals – clean water supply, open space access and connecting people to the outdoors,” said Sullivan. “We welcome partnerships with local communities to help enhance safety while providing public access to this pristine open space and trail network.”

The trails run atop the Sudbury, Weston, Wachusett and Cochituate aqueducts, which currently only serve during emergencies.

The 40 miles of trails, which are 100 yards wide, run through 14 Metro west communities: Berlin, Boston, Clinton, Framingham, Marlborough, Natick, Needham, Newton, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston.

The new policy calls for the MWRA to work with “communities, open space and environmental stakeholders, and the public” to authorize access to the aqueduct right-of-ways.