Gem of a 200 Mile Necklace

Gem of a 200 Mile Necklace

Outdoor lovers rejoice: AMC and The Trustees team up to complete the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway.

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and The Trustees of Reservations recently announced a joint effort to assist the Bay Circuit Alliance (BCA) in the completion, enhancement, and long-term protection of the 200-mile Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway. Often referred to as Greater Boston’s “Outer Emerald Necklace,” the Bay Circuit Trail is a multi-use recreational trail and greenway encircling 57 towns and cities in the Boston metropolitan area between Route 128 and Interstate 495, and running through 37 communities from Plum Island to Duxbury, connecting thousands of acres of scenic and historic areas and conservation lands. Nearby to almost 4 million people in Eastern Massachusetts (with many sections accessible by MBTA commuter rail), the Bay Circuit Trail offers tons of opportunities for walking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

This collaboration between AMC and The Trustees was formed in anticipation of the retirement later this year of longtime BCA Chairman Al French of Andover, an avid outdoorsman and conservationist who volunteered in 1990 to organize and lead the Bay Circuit Alliance, which is made up of community trail groups, land trusts, conservation commissions, nonprofits and individuals who have been working to complete and maintain the Bay Circuit. Through the tireless volunteer efforts and advocacy of French, hundreds of volunteers, and more than 30 cooperating towns, 180 miles of the Bay Circuit Trail are now designated and 4,000 acres of greenway are now protected.

AMC and The Trustees will work with the Alliance to fulfill the vision of the Bay Circuit by completing the final 20 miles of the Trail, recruiting and organizing volunteers, improving the Bay Circuit Trail experience through consistent maintenance and signage, and moving sections of the Trail off roads, securing permanent protection for the Trail corridor, and promoting the Trail to the public.

”This collaboration is really a natural fit for both AMC and The Trustees from a leadership and historic perspective,” says Al French, Bay Circuit Alliance Chairman. “The combined expertise of two leading organizations in trail management, stewardship, conservation, and public outreach and engagement are exactly what The Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway needs to realize its full potential as a premier outdoor recreation destination for everyone.”

“This is the perfect project for AMC and The Trustees to work together on, leveraging the strengths of each organization” says John D. Judge, AMC President. “We see tremendous opportunities for using the Bay Circuit Trail to get urban kids and families outdoors, get teens involved in trails stewardship, and energize our 16,000 trail volunteers to bring this project to the next level.”

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