Marlborough officials seek volunteers to help finish marathon-length Panther Trail

Marlborough officials seek volunteers to help finish marathon-length Panther Trail

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – City leaders are seeking volunteers this spring and summer to help put the finishing touches on a 26.2-mile trail loop around Marlborough.

The Panther Trail links several existing trail systems in the city, including paths at Ghiloni Park, Lake Williams, the Mount Ward and Felton conservation areas and Callahan State Park, to form a marathon-length loop around the city.

Work to connect some of the trail systems kicked off in the late summer and will continue this spring and summer. Six trail connections were created during the late summer and fall last year, said Priscilla Ryder, conservation officer.

Boy Scout Zachary Ritter constructed a trail with bog bridges off Millham Street, which will connect with a trail that leads to Elm Street and to the Felton Conservation Land. Scout Andrew Desmaris constructed bog bridges and cleared and mulched where a thick patch of poison ivy grew on a trail at Cider Knoll.

Another group of Boy Scouts built a helical pier boardwalk across a marshy section of the trail that will connect from the Cider Knoll Conservation Land to Concord Road and into Ghiloni Park. Ryder called the work “a very ambitious and challenging project” because of the technical nature of the building the boardwalk over the marsh.

Other work this fall included construction of a trail between Bigelow Street and Berlin Road and linking trails between Millham Street and Jacobs Road and another from the Felton Conservation Land and Elm Street.

Volunteers are needed this spring and summer to install signs and build additional boardwalks, bridges and link trails along several sections of the trail. Crews will work on weekends beginning in May, said Ryder.

“If this sounds like something you would like to see materialize, please come help us make it a reality,” said Ryder.

The trail – which was recommended as part of the recently updated Open Space and Recreation plan – will provide walkers and marathoners an opportunity to exercise safely and enjoy the conservation land and city’s scenery.

“It’s a way to get people outside,” said Ryder. “It connects all of our open spaces.”

Segments of the Panther Trail are part of the more than 33-mile Boroughs Trail Loop that links paths in Marlborough, Westborough, Southborough and Northborough. Ryder said signs need to be installed on the Northborough and Westborough sections of the trail and Southborough is nearly complete, except for an area near the Sudbury Reservoir.

Residents or community groups interested in helping with trail construction are encouraged to call the Marlborough Conservation Commission office at 508-460-3768 or email pryder@marlborough-ma.gov.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.

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