Grand Trunk Trail

Directions to Westville Lake & Grand Trunk Trail Head

From-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike), take Exit 9 to I- 84. 0.5 mi after the tollbooth, take Exit 3B to Route 20 West. Turn left at the first set of lights onto Route - 131 East (0.8 mi.); Follow Route 131 towards Southbridge for 2.3 miles, turn right onto Wallace Road (at the Fiske Hill Plaza). There is a brown sign that says "Westville Lake Recreation Area", which is 1 mile down Wallace Road on the left hand side.

From I-84, take Exit 1 for Mashapaug Road. Turn on to Mashapaug Road at the Roy Rogers/ Mobil Service Station). Follow Mashapaug for 2 miles, then turn left onto Breakneck Road which leads into the Recreation Area.

The Grand Trunk Trail winds along the Quinebaug River, and using the connecting Heritage trail the two paths link the towns of Southbridge and Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The Grand Trunk is a defunct railroad, the brainchild of Charles Hayes, who went down with the Titanic. Only the railbed was completed, hence, the name "Titanic Railroad". For more on this local bit of history, pick up a copy of "Titanic Railroad: The Southern New England" by local author (and Opacum board member) Larry Lowenthal.

Work began on the Grand Trunk Trail in 2000, on Earth Day. A Trailhead is located at Westville Lake Recreational Park, where one can travel upstream to the Ed Calcutt Bridge or downstream to Westville Dam and the Heritage Trail. The Heritage trail is in Southbridge, and runs along the opposite bank of the Quinebaug River to West Street School.

While most of this section of the Grand Trunk like on Army Corp of Engineers Property, Opacum Land Trust holds a trail easement along portions of the trail that cross private property, a generous gift from the Roscioli family.

Opacum Land Trust received two grants for this project totaling $10,000 for signage and an ecological survey. We thank Fields Pond Foundation and Department of Environmental Management for their support of this volunteer effort. Also, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers deserves much credit for working with the various organizations involved in this project.

The Grand Trunk Trail is a National Recreational Trail. This designation, from the National Park Service, puts the Grand Trunk Trail into the rank of only 12 in the Bay State that hold the NRT designation.

An Americorp's crew built a spur trail at Old South Road in 2002. Now, one can walk through the woods beside the Quinebaug River and Westville Lake, over the new footbridge to Army Corp headquarters on Marjorie Lane in Southbridge, and onward to get a different view of the Westville Dam. \

The Grand Trunk Trail is a partnership between The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Opacum Land Trust, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor, National Park Service, Grand Trunk Trailblazers, the Towns of Southbridge and Sturbridge, and numerous trail volunteers.