MRWC began in 2011 a project to encourage people to discover the Millers Watershed. A blue trail is where the water is the path and a watercraft is the means of exploration.
A blue trail (also known as blueway or water trail) is a dedicated stretch of river that enjoys special clean water safeguards and is a destination for fishing, boating and other recreation. Just as hiking trails are designed to help people explore the land, blue trails help people discover rivers. Blue trails provide a fun, exciting way to get kids outdoors, connect communities to treasured landscapes, and are economic drivers benefiting local businesses and quality of life. (American Rivers)
The first phase of this project is the Miller River Blue Trail which runs from Athol to Orange, or Orange to Athol, for some. In 2012 MRWC mobilized a trail stewardship team to care for this first trail segment. The Blue Trail Guide for this stretch is available at a variety of locations. Also, accessible access improvements have been done on this trail in 2018.
In 2017, MRWC completed new blue trail segments on the Millers & Otter Rivers. The Upper Millers River Blue Trail runs from Winchendon to Birch Hill Dam and Baldwinville to BHD. These segments run through a wild like area abundant with wildlife. A paddler feels a keen sense of exploration. Paddlers should be prepared for beaver dams and downed trees.
Also in 2017, our first Otter River Blue Trail and access on Plant Rd in Templeton was expanded thanks to a MRWC partnership with the City of Gardner. The expanded ORBT runs from the Otter River Conservation area near the airport, down to Bridge/Turner Streets. A portage helps paddlers bring their boats from the take out along the Otter River to Bridge St.
Take a look at the trail guide for the Upper Millers/Lower Otter and the Upper Otter Blue Trails: mrwc-5-8-17-UMLO guide