15th Annual Historic Bicycle Tour Of Middlesex Canal – This Sunday October 1st

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 29

Historic Bicycle Tour of Middlesex Canal

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the Middlesex Canal Association, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and the Middlesex Canal Commission will sponsor the 15th annual historic bicycle tour of the Middlesex Canal.  Because the MBTA is not running trains on the Lowell Line this Sunday (because of track work), the ride will only go as far as Wilmington, and then we will bike back to Boston rather than taking the train.  We apologize for the late notice, but we were trying (unsuccessfully) to work out arrangements with the MBTA to get bikes back from Lowell by bus.

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 at 9:00. From there we will ride about 15 miles to Wilmington.  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 6-7 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 of the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and the Middlesex Canal Commission, Bill Kuttner of the the Middlesex Canal Commission, and Robert Winters of the Middlesex Canal Association. Helmets required.  Steady rain cancels. For more information, contact Dick at [email protected] (857-540-6293),  Bill at [email protected](617-241-9383), or Robert 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/


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