Saturday, March 29, 2014

EST Spring Cleaning!

Every spring we have one day where we go through the East Side Trail and get things back in order after a year's worth of use and a winter's worth of fallen material. Usually we go through the whole trail, stem to stern, and set things right.

This year we had an extra challenge. There were two abandoned homeless encampments in Bell Hill Park that had become mini dumps. On top of that Elliot Street had seen an increase in abuse of late. So we had ourselves a pretty concentrated area needing serious attention. Lucky for us we had a crew to tackle it!

WPI students, Holy Cross Students, and a Clark student all showed to tear into the trash and get it off site. On top of that the stewards of the East Side Trail and volunteers from the Greater Worcester Land Trust were able to bring their experience and knowledge to the matter. Of particular note we had a special guest star appearance of the keeper of God's Acre, an experienced combatant with epic trash, to bring gravitas to the project.

4 hours later, with the help of Worcester's DPW&P staff, a couple of pickups, a couple of wheel barrows, and a dedicated trash truck, we had the hill in good shape along Elliot Street, and Bell Hill along the East Side Trail.

We are ready for next week's hike of the East Side Trail!

Come join us next Saturday morning as we hike from Shrewsbury Street at the band stand, all the way to Lake Quinsigamond, 3.5 miles, and a lot of elevation change, later!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Holy Cross Crew Team Volunteer Morning!

Today, Saturday, May 4th is the day the Holy Cross crew team and their coach will help out at the East Side Trail!  It is an annual tradition, and a morning that allows for much work to be done on the trails.  We will be clearing the trail, placing water bars near a slope off Plantation Street, and cleaning up the trails.

You are welcome to join us!
The crew will be there from 8:00 a.m. to noon!
Base of operations is the athletic field parking lot across from the Worcester Tech High School, but you will find teams of volunteers throughout the park.

Feel free to join in the work!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Updates Underfoot

Been awhile since any news on the trails has been posted so here's a bit of an update and itinerary. With winter behind us the yearly chores of maintaining the trails have come to the forefront. We ask that anyone walking the trails take a quick moment to pull aside a piece of deadfall or pick up a bit of litter as they pass through. Thanks, every little bit helps!

On Saturday May 4th the Holy Cross crew team will once again dedicate a morning of their time to do a thorough cleanup of the entire trail system. If any of the designated trail stewards are able to help us out during this event please comment here or contact GWLT directly. As for planned projects, we'd like to tackle some erosion prone areas like installing water bars on the East Side Trail leading downhill to Coal Mine Brook at Plantation Street and constructing a rustic stairway on the Millstone Trail just east of Skyline Drive.

But in the interim, get out and enjoy the trail system. Woodcocks are migrating through sounding their evening "beezp" call,  to be replaced in short time by the "peepers" emerging from the many wet areas and vernal pools abutting the trail system,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trick or Treat

The Halloween weekend storm wreaked havoc on the trails. I'm looking to begin cleanup on Saturday between the Coal Mine Shaft and Sisters of Notre Dame driveway. Lots of large trees down in this section. If anyone is able to help out please comment to this post. Many thanks!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Storm Aftermath

As expected, Irene littered the trail system with many small limbs and in some areas entire trees are down across the trails, alas one on the newly opened Trinity Spur. Please comment as to the location of major trail blockages with a reference to the trail mileposts on the East Side Trail map, so that we may remove them and make the trails passable once again. For smaller limbs we ask that trail users take a minute to move them aside for the benefit of all. Thanks for your help!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene Preparations

A hurricane is bearing down on the Atlantic seaboard,
portions of NYC are being evacuated,
a state of emergency is declared in Massachusetts,

What would you do?

Well, as for Gene and I, we installed the new trailhead sign at the Trinity Spur this morning!

More than that, neighbors showed up and offered stories, shovels, wheelbarrows, and assistance in the effort.
What the heck! It was still sunny and we were anxious to get the sign up.

Besides, Gene had gotten up at dawn to freshen the yellow blazes on the trail so that they would have adequate time to dry before the rains hit, and as long as he was already out there.....

Now for removing storm debris after this is all over....

Friday, July 15, 2011

East Side Trail Extension

The East Side Trail (EST) is now essentially complete. Until the trail map is updated a brief description is as follows. From the EST intersection with the Brook Loop (red blazes) follow blue blazes 425' easterly and cross apartment complex driveway on left side of brook overpass. After another tenth of a mile the old coal mine shaft, a 15' high ledge overhang, will be off to your left with a small brook on your immediate right. Continue easterly along an old grassy cartpath and just beyond a brook crossing take a hard left through a lightly wooded trail section 200' to the edge of a meadow at utility pole #3. Hug brush line on left and cross paved drive still by brush line and head to the right of a very large triple oak 250' north of the drive. Follow blue blazes downhill where the EST follows the south side of Coal Mine Brook to the trail terminus at Lake Quinsigamond. There is also a new short red loop just west of the Plantation Street crossing that goes over a small knoll on the right.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Complete At Last!

A week and a half ago the Sisters of Notre Dame, the City of Worcester, and the Greater Worcester Land Trust reached an agreement whereby a trail easement was granted to the Trust and the City for the East Side Trail section between the Coal Mine shaft on the Plantation Towers site and the Mohegan Council Boy Scouts of America site. This completes the protection of the East Side Trail.

The trail has since been blazed and opened on this crossing by the East Side Trail's father Mr. Gene Tivnan.

Additionally land was acquired on Trinity Avenue to create a new trailhead for Green Hill park and access to the red loop trail. The scoping of the connection has only just begun and this will not be open for a while.

A formal trail kickoff, ribbon cutting, and hike are being planned and will be announced soon.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Voke Tech students extending the East Side Trail towards Plantation Street

Worcester Voke Tech students from the Environmental Studies Division cleaned up the East Side Trail from Skyline Drive through to the Coal Mine Shaft on Tuesday.

Furthermore, they hunted down and roughed out the alignment of the trail extension to Plantation Street. Another crew will assist GWLT on this upcoming Tuesday to reach Plantation Street with a cleanly blazed and market trail.

Phenomenal assistance guys!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

East Side Trail extension / Holy Cross

On Saturday March 20 members of the Holy Cross crew team returned almost a year to the day to assist in getting the East Side Trail ready for the spring season. In addition to general maintenance the crew team and other volunteers extended the East Side Trail about a quarter of a mile easterly to the site of the old coal mine shaft. This connection was in place some years back but was severed with the construction of nearby residential buildings. Further extensiono of the trail is conceivable for this year with tentative plans in place to push the trail westerly from Plantation Street another quarter of a mile or so. A short return loop back easterly to the road is planned to prevent hikers from straying onto private property. Many thanks to the Holy Cross crew team for their continuing efforts to improve the trail and take on the role of stewards for portions of the trail system

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Tails / Golf Course

A recent trek over portions of the East Side Trail system show the trails to be in generally good order. For those looking forward to wintry conditions the wait is not far off. The woods are quieter and less traveled during this season. Coyote tracks are a constant along the trails though the animals themselves remain elusive. Most portions of the trail system are easily snowshoed while cross country skiing is possible to a lesser extent. With the seasonal golf course closure the trail opportunities are greatly enhanced by creating loop treks utilizing both the trails and golf course. If you're into serious windchill and whiteouts be sure to get out on the golf course when such events are forecasted - it's other worldly.

Earlier this month the initial phases of the new golf course access road got underway. While not embraced by all the new access road will actually open up additional opportunities for the trail system. Once complete the trail on the easterly side of Green Hill Pond will serve as a main artery for those entering the park on foot from Marsh Avenue. Tieing this connector into the existing trail system will be of great ease. A canoe launch site is also planned for the north end of Green Hill Pond. Winter is less than a week away, get out and enjoy it!

Monday, March 23, 2009


A gracious thanks to the Holy Cross crew team and coaches plus several trail volunteers for their hard work and efforts to help open the East Side Trail system on Saturday March 14th. In approximately six hours a total of 41 people successfully cut and removed deadfall from the December '08 ice storm that had rendered many portions of the trail system impassable. An estimated five± miles of trail, including the full length of the pond side trails at Bell Pond & Green Hill Pond have been reopened and are ready for travel once again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ice Storm Cleanup

On Saturday, March 14th we will be doing a cleanup of the East Side Trail system. At present we anticipate upwards of 40± people but would welcome more. The plan is to meet in the center of Green Hill Park across from the pond at 9 a.m. where we will break into 5 separate groups. If you are able to assist please join us. Should you have any trail clearing equipment (loppers, hand saws, etc.) please, if you are so willing, bring it along.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mother Natures Havoc

With last weeks ice storm came the near impassability (approx. 70%) of the East Side Trail system. For a closer look at the damage visit Now that winter is upon us it would be near impossible to get the trails fully useable anytime soon. We are looking into setting up several weekends in the early spring where people could help us restore the trails. Might even be a good time to take care of some of the perenially flooded wetland crossings as well. If you are interested in helping out please post in the comment section of this blog. We will post additional information as planning proceeds. In the interim please do your small part & remove any downed limbs that are easily moved from along the trail route. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

3 Hour Trail Loop

Feels good to be back on the local trails after gallavanting thru northern & western New England this past season. So off we went on Saturday afternoon for a 3± hour perimeter loop of Green Hill over a plethora of trails. Amazingly enough we saw nary a soul during the entire hike. Grey skies & 60° temps escorted us on our trek. Entering the trail system from Trinity Ave we passed thru the Coal Mine Brook area before heading south on the EST. Ducked in behind Worcester State Hospital to view the ongoing construction via an unofficial trail marked with small cairns. From there it was onto a portion of the Ledge Loop Trail & back on the EST going south. The Millstone Trail beckoned so we took the cue & took a short breather at the Knob. The Quarry was next on the list w/ a short detour to the Bell Pond overlook before heading back to the EST & over Lucy Lane into the core of the park. On the final section, in the wooded areas west of the golf course, the skies let loose with rain for the closing 1/2 mile of the hike. Enjoy your local trails - we did!