The Middlesex Canal Association Presents: Spring Bicycle Tour of Historic Middlesex Canal

Saturday, April 06, 2024 at 11:15 AM

On Saturday, April 6th, 2024, 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 at 11:15AM. You can take your bicycle on the 10:30 AM train from North Station which arrives in Lowell at 11:15.  You can get a regular ticket or get a $10 ticket for unlimited rides for the whole weekend.  Riders can also just meet at Lowell Station. Early birds can also take the 8:30 train which arrives in Lowell at 9:15 and have breakfast at the historic Owl Diner before the ride.
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.  Long day, but sunset is late. Riders can also leave the route and take the train back to either Lowell or Boston from several stations along the way. We will stop along the way for a picnic lunch, so bring something to eat. 
The route is pretty flat and level, so the ride will be easy to moderate 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[email protected]) and Dick Bauer (857-540-6293[email protected]) of the Middlesex Canal Commission. Helmets required.  Steady rain cancels. 
For more information about the Middlesex Canal go to:

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