Worcester's East Side Trail

Dedication and hike

September 28, 2011

City Manager O'Brien The proverb says "all good things must come to an end," and after 14 years in the works, that proverb finally rings true for Worcester's East Side Trail! You can now hike the trail's entire 3-1/2 mile span end-to-end, thanks to 13 acres of woodland newly added to Green Hill Park. The addition allowed the trail's final missing link to be filled in.

We attended the official East Side Trail dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony with Worcester City Manager Michael O'Brien at the trailhead on the shore of Lake Quinsigamond.

The crowd eagerly awaited the cutting of the ribbon as Greater Worcester Land Trust Executive Director Colin Novick added his words of inspiration.

crowd colin
Ribbon cutting crew The big moment arrives: City Manager O'Brien supervises as the ribbon-cutting crew expertly does the honors!
unveiling trail sign After the ribbon is cut, the new trailhead sign is unveiled by Deb Cary, Massachusetts Audubon Society's Central Properties Sanctuaries Director.

The sign is not actually sitting in the lake - it just looks that way!

So what's the big deal about the East Side Trail? Here's what our friends at the Greater Worcester Land Trust had to say, along with some helpful resources:

History has been made for conservation in Worcester! The over 14 year old effort to create an East Side Trail from downtown on Shrewsbury Street to the shores of Lake Quinsigamond has come to fruition!

  • This 3.5 mile long hiking trail crosses through meadows, granite quarries, and forest.
  • It runs along ridges, streams, and brooks.
  • It passes through different types of Northern hardwood forest.
  • It climbs steep slopes, crosses gentle grades, and has scenic overlooks.
  • It highlights Worcester's vernal pools, includes a Native Trout brook spawning run, and is home to numerous bird species.
  • The trail walks along a City bathing beach, passes to the foot of Worcester's historic old Coal Mine shafts (long since closed), and a spur to the Massachusetts Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.

But, most incredibly, from Shrewsbury Street to Lake Quinsigamond, the trail only crosses two major streets as it winds its way through our forest.

This trail, envisioned by Worcester residents, called out by municipal plans, and chipped away at by numerous non-profit organizations, is finally complete!


And so we hike!
Outing Club on trail After the formalities we hit the trail! We originally planned to hike 1/2 hour up the trail and turn around, but one step led to the next and nobody could bear to stop. Eventually we veered from the East Side Trail onto the Millstone trail and followed it all the way to a vernal pool in the woods behind the new Worcester Vocational High School. Reluctantly, we turned around, as darkness was rapidly setting in and we now had to retrace our steps a full two miles to get back to the trailhead. Most of that distance was covered using headlamps and flashlights and the crowds for the dedication were long gone by the time we finished. But our adventure on this newfound trail will be one to remember!

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