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North Central Pathway


  1. Walking/Biking Path
The North Central Pathway is a picturesque paved trail that winds through Gardner into Winchendon. This Gardner section begins at the Veterans Memorial Skating Rink on the eastern shore of Crystal Lake and goes behind Heywood Hospital where there is a Wellness Loop off the paved path.  The path then picks up off Green Street where it goes down an old railroad bed into Winchendon.

The North Central Pathway is a recreational trail that began as a dream conjured up by a few local people in the mid 1990s. In 1996, with funding from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, a master plan was completed for a bike trail connecting the historic downtowns of Gardner and Winchendon.

Winchendon Link

The North Central Pathway will one day stretch 16 miles between the cities of Winchendon and Gardner in northern Massachusetts, primarily along a former railroad right-of-way. Three open sections currently offer just over 11 miles of paved, off-road trail.

The northernmost section travels across Winchendon from Summer Street to N. Ashburnham Road, connecting residents to Whitney Pond and the Clark Memorial Community Center. Southeast of Winchendon, the trail picks up again and travels from Old Gardner Road through dense woodlands to Gardner's north end near the Perley Brook Reservoir.

The North Central Pathway is open from dawn to dusk for recreational use including walking, jogging, bicycling, roller-blading, skateboarding and cross country skiing in most areas. Some sections of the trails are plowed during the winter for walking. Motorized vehicles, such as ATV's and dirt bikes, are prohibited.

The completed sections of the trail are asphalt paved making it the ideal spot for wheelchair use. When the trail is finished, all bike path sections will be handicapped accessible.
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