Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, MA


• 4-star trail
• 15.0 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Easy elevation
• Chelmsford to Framingham, MA | NE Massachusetts
• Driving Directions: Marked on map

Cyclists wheeling past a restored signal.
Cyclists wheeling past a restored signal.

Rail Trail Map of New England
Rail Trails of New England
The first and only complete rail trail map. With photos, reviews and downloads.

Twenty miles west of Boston, the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail winds its way on a north-south route through the quiet leafy environs of Middlesex County towns. Covering the full length of Chelmsford, Acton and Concord since only 2023 this non-motorized trail offers 15 miles of continuous asphalt pavement and includes multiple parking lots, restrooms and a couple of large trail bridges along its route.

Presently the southern end of the trail terminates at the Concord-Sudbury border, but Phase 2D of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is currently under way and when this extension opens (expected June 2025) it will lengthen the route by a further 4.4 miles. Ultimately the trail will be around 24 miles in length and end at Framingham.

green icon Asphalt, red icon Road, No Access, Parking Expand Map

green icon Bruce Freeman Rail Trail 4★
15.0 miles each way, Loop, Medium, Gain xxx ft
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails, GPX File

This exceptionally smooth asphalt trail is particularly popular with recreational trail users both locally and regionally, and due to its north-south direction doesn't see many speedy commuter bicycles along its route.

Picturesque in nature, the trail offers a variety of tree-lined views throughout and regular kinks in the former railroad alignment allow fresh scenery to reveal itself as you progress. The trail runs adjacent to several water features including Beaver Brook, Heart Pond, Nara Park and Ice House Pond, and two of these even feature beaches that we've flagged on our map.

Intersections with major roads are remarkably few, thanks to substantial trail bridges over Great Road and State Route 2. There's a signalized road crossing near West Concord station, and at the very north of the trail there are two further road crossings in Chelmsford - one of which is confusing and would benefit from additional trail signs.

Two people walking across a wooden-decked bridge with steel arch truss supports on the sides. River below with green leafy trees overhanging.
Crossing the Assabet River.

By West Concord railroad station the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail passes close to the end another rail trail - the Reformatory Branch Trail, that further connects to the Minute Man Bikeway heading towards Boston. Reaching this trail requires 2.6 miles of road biking heading east along the wide State Route 62. We have trail reviews for both of these rail trails, and on our overview rail trail map of New England we've highlighted in red the road biking connection.

Trail Conditions
Smooth asphalt and no significant gradient. Few road intersections. Busy on weekends and holidays.

Wooden carving of a man holding a lantern. The lantern is painted yellow. Background is a tall-steepled white church against a blue sky.
Wooden carved statue on the trail in Chelmsford.

Man sits on a bench looking out over the calm and expansive pond beyond.
Catching a breath at Heart Pond.

Tangents:
• External Links: Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail
• Other Links: AllTrails (outdated), TrailLink

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