In 2013, the Town of Hopkinton purchased the Hughes property at 192
Hayden Rowe Street, for use for active & passive recreation,
and for open space. There is a large open area by the street (former
house site and yard), a section of the former railroad bed, and an
extensive wooded area with a rough trail. The Trails Club has led walks
on the property every year since it was purchased, but otherwise it has
been largely unused.
At the 2016 Town Meeting, funds were approved for the creation of a dog
park on the property, and for improvements to the trail. The Trails
Club is working to coordinate those improvements, and seeking
additional funds for the work. This page will provide information about
the project as it progresses.
November 13, 2019:
continued through the summer, with Eagle Scout candidate Ethan
Ritterbusch coordinating the creation of two side loops off the main
trail. HCAM News interviewed Ethan about the project
The parking area has been improved quite a bit, with the debris piles
removed, and the main trail has been extended a bit further. Work is
finishing up for the season.
June 2, 2019:
In conjunction with National Trails Day, a work day was held at the Hughes property
The work focused on cleaning up the land around the parking area (192
Hayden Rowe St.) to present a more inviting/attactive face to the
community. Rocks were harvested (!) and the ground was smoothed out.
Arrangements were made to remove several unsightly large piles of brush
and debris. The trail itself is still a work in progress. The path is
nearly cleared to its eventual end/turnaround point, with a temporary
gravel roadbase to support heavy equipment. Once the clearing is
complete, the trail will be set to its final state...a bit narrower
than the temporary road, with a smooth stonedust surface.
January 13, 2019:
Time for a long-overdue update. A dog park is no longer being considered for the Hughes property.
Instead, the dog park is now proposed to be sited at the Fruit Street
property. Work has begun on the trail improvements. The trail is now
completed to base coat across the upper field, into the woods, and
through the wetland area. A new-to-use technique is being
employed in the wetland area of placing a woven fabric directly on top
of the existing surface and then placing the roadbase material on top
of that. This avoids the need to remove the top organic layer,
which would be a concern in that area. We are hoping to get
through this area this season, as future work is primarily in upland,
and therefore less affected if there is a rainy spring.
Some answers to questions raised at the January Club meeting:
There have been rumors
of more tree cutting planned for the southern portion of the
field, adjacent to the Deer Run neighborhood. Are these rumors true?
There is a tree down
across the pedestrian path from Deer Run that will be cleared at some
point, but no other tree cutting is planned.
What are the plans for the Hayden Rowe parking area?
The current gravel area is
primarily to facilitate the construction work. The parking lot on
Hayden Rowe will have 4 official spots but there is room for more
cars. It will remain base coat material. Whether or not the
parking lot will be expanded will depend on trail and other uses.
For example, there is still a consideration that the garden area north
of the parking area would be used for a community garden. In that
case, more parking would likely be needed. There is room for such
an expansion. There are no current plans for trees or other
screening, but this project is still a work in progress and those concerns have been passed along.
The Trails Club's
revised design for trail improvements at the Hughes property was taken
to the Community Preservation Commission last evening. The new design
is for a "lollypop" loop trail entirely on the eastern portion of the
land, with the western section of the existing trail left as-is. The
work to protect the wetlands, including the construction of a bridge,
is no longer part of the proposal. The CPC voted unanimously to
accept the Trails Club's funding request for the project.
: An informational
meeting on the project was held at the Hopkinton Town Hall to share the
designs and get feedback from the community. The original plan was to
make the entire existing trail into a stone dust surfaced trail,
similar to the Center Trail. Many concerns were raised, mostly about
the foot traffic into the surrounding neighborhood. Based upon those
concerns, the design was revised to keep the changes on the eastern
portion of the property and to leave the western section of the trail
largely untouched except for some work to protect wetlands in the area.