Upper Charles Trail

In 2012, the Town of Hopkinton established the Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) and charged it with developing Hopkinton's portion of this trail. The trail will eventually link five towns -  Hopkinton, Milford, Holliston, Sherborn, Ashland. Hopkinton's portion will connect to the sections in Milford (completed) and Ashland (design underway).

The Committee released their proposed route for the Hopkinton portion of the trail in August 2021. The Trails Club had concerns about aspects of the proposal and developed an alternative proposal for a portion of the route. Links to the UCTC's proposal and the Trails Club's suggested alternative are below: We urge the public to remain involved in following this project and providing feedback. Attend meetings (check the Events page) if possible, and check this page for updates (below).

First, an important note...

The Trails Club fully supports the development of Hopkinton’s portion of the Upper Charles Trail. On its own it will be a wonderful addition to the Town’s trail network, and if/when the entire five town trail is completed, it will be an amazing recreational resource. We recognize that the Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) has a very difficult task identifying a route in Hopkinton, and we applaud them for their efforts to date. While the Trails Club has raised some concerns with portions and aspects of the current proposal from the UCTC, our intent is to assist, not oppose the Committee. We have a wealth of experience within the Club with trails, as users and developers, and we have used that knowledge to develop detailed alternatives to address our concerns. We look forward to continuing to help create the best possible trail for our community.

News & Updates:

13 April 2022:

The Upper Charles Trail Committee has voted to drop their request at Town Meeting for funding of segments 5 & 6. Read the details in The Hopkinton Independent's article.

27 March 2022:

eHop has published parts 2 & 3 of their series of articles about the Upper Charles Trail project
25 March 2022:

The Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) will be conducting a workshop on April 13 at 5PM at the Hopkinton Senior Center. The goal of the workshop is to provide residents an opportunity to view and provide feedback on the proposed trail alignments evaluated by or presented to the UCTC to date. The workshop will be hosted by town staff, and individual stations will be set up for residents to ask questions of Town staff and shared-use path design professionals. Members of the Upper Charles Trail Committee will also be in attendance. A Google Meeting Room will also be provided for those residents who may not be able to attend in person. A host will be provided by the town to answer any questions in the remote meeting room. The link will be posted on the web meeting calendar, which can be found on the town's website homepage.

18 March 2022:

The UCTC has established a project page to share information with the community. They've also published an FAQ document (#1, with more to come). Presumably the FAQ document will be linked to the project page at some point.
2 March 2022:

UCTC meeting
27 February 2022:

eHop article (part 1) providing a history and overview of the project

16 February 2022:

UCTC meeting. The proposed route might require a realignment of Hayden Rowe Street?

19 January 2022:

The UCTC invited the Trails Club to attend their meeting and discuss the alternative western route. This meeting was broadcast on HCAM-TV. A recording of the meeting can be viewed on HCAM's YouTube channel. No public comments were allowed during the meeting, but the Committee Chair encouraged the public to send emails with their input.

Presentation materials are below:
14 January 2022:

The Upper Charles Trail Committee sent an email to the Select Board indicating that they were not ready to request permission to prepare and submit an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) for the trail.  An ENF is required for projects that create over 10 acres of impervious surface or meet other criteria.  For a 12 foot wide asphalt-paved trail, a trail over 6.8 miles long requires notification, and the Upper Charles Trail is 8 miles long, although the trail surface is some areas must remain stone dust, and the overall surface has reportedly not been decided.  A stone dust trail would typically not require such notification.  An ENF filing can cost between $25,000 and $100,000, depending on land conditions. 

13 January 2022:

The Hopkinton School Committee voted unanimously to not support Segment 6 of the Upper Charles Trail, a segment planned to extend around Marathon School and into the town-owned Irvine-Todaro Property.  The Todaro property is a possible location for a replacement for the Elmwood School.  Jane Moran, Chair of the Upper Charles Trail Committee noted that the trail "is an allowed use" and that it had "nothing to do with the school committee," even though the trail would pass one and possibly two elementary schools.  The issue was timely as the Upper Charles Trail Committee is submitting a grant proposal for engineering funds for Segment 6 to the DCR MassTrails grant program in early February, and community support is a consideration in the grant application.

HCAM recording of the meeting on YouTube (starting at the discussion of the trail)

5 January 2022:

The UCTC met via Zoom on January 5 to review the December 8 public forum
8 December 2021:

On December 8, 2021, the UCTC held a public forum to present their proposed route and to take questions and comments. Information about that meeting is below: