If You Build It, They Will Come
Photos by Carolynn Henderson
Yes, Holliston built a “Field of Dreams.” The Town built a recreational rail trail that spans the length of the town from Milford to Sherborn. All 6.7 miles are traveled by walkers, strollers and bikers. The trail has become central to the “get out and exercise” routine of many people. There’s little doubt the trail has exceeded our expectations.
Over the last six months, two electronic counters have kept track of how many people use the trail. Counters were installed near Blair Square and Village Plaza. Analysis of the data collected breaks out which days are the busiest and what the averages are for various months. Here’s some of the general data from the last six months:
- 94,121 people passed the Blair Square counter (some are round trip hikers) * (charts for Blair Square are at the end of the article)
- 15,000 is the monthly average *
- 40,154 people passed the Village Plaza counter (again, some round tippers)
- 8,200 is the monthly average
As you’d expect, weekends are the busiest and, surprisingly, Tuesday is the busiest day of the weekdays. The bulk of use falls between 10 AM and 4 PM daily. These figures don’t even take into account trail use on the south end of the trail toward Milford and the stretch toward Sherborn. Users have their favorite time slot and location for being on the trail whether it’s the 8-arch bridge, the Phipps Tunnel, the Blue Heron rookery or just a shady section of trail to enjoy.
The Rail Trail Committee and the Friends of the Holliston Rail Trail work cooperatively to maintain and enhance the usefulness of this town-wide treasure. The trail has been met with solid support and continual use. As the movie theme suggests; “We built it and they did come.”