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Spring Bicycle Tour of the Historic Middlesex Canal

posted Mar 19, 2017, 10:19 AM by Lindy King
On *Saturday, April 1, 2017*, the *Middlesex Canal **Association* will
present its spring bicycle tour of the Middlesex Canal. The Canal was the
“big dig” of the end of the 18th century. Completed in 1803 after 10 years
of construction, the Canal connected the Merrimac River in what is now
Lowell with the Charles River at Sullivan Square in Charlestown. In many
ways it served as a model for later canals including the Erie Canal. The
Canal remained in operation for 50 years, providing both passenger and
freight service, but could not compete successfully with the Boston and
Lowell Railroad which began operation in the 1830’s.

The ride will depart from the Lowell Train Station
before 11AM. You can take your bicycle on the 10 AM train from North
Station which arrives in Lowell at 10:43. (Riders can also board at West
Medford at 10:11 or just meet at Lowell Station). There sill also be an
early group that will take the 8:00AM train from North Station to allow
more time in Lowell and breakfast at the historic Owl Diner, aka the Four
Route visits the Pawtucket and other Lowell canals, river walk, Francis
Gate, and then Middlesex Canal remnants in Chelmsford. Quick visit to Canal
Museum, then on to Boston.

Lunch at Route 3A mini-mall in Billerica. Long day, but sunset is late.
Riders needing to leave early can get the train to Boston at 1:07 at North
Billerica or at 3:14 at Wilmington. Participants are responsible for
one-way train fare [$10.00 from Boston to Lowell]. Complete Lowell line
schedules can be downloaded
<> if anyone
wishes to plan a rail travel itinerary specific to their needs.

The route is pretty flat and level and we will average 5 miles per hour, so
the ride will be an easy one for most cyclists. Along the way we will stop
at a number of remnants and restored sections of the Canal, as well as the
Mansion of Loammi Baldwin, the chief engineer of the Canal (who discovered
the Baldwin apple while building the Canal), the two remaining aqueducts
(which carried the Canal over rivers and brooks), and the northern end of
the floating towpath that carried horses over the Millpond.

The ride will be led by Bill Kuttner (617-241-9383, and
Dick Bauer (857-540-6293, of the Middlesex Canal
Commission . Helmets required. Steady rain cancels.

For more information about the Middlesex Canal go to: