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.
In the summer of 2011, MRWC inaugurated the first segment of the Millers River Blue Trail (MRBT), which runs between Cass Meadow in Athol and River Front Park in Orange. A Blue Trail Guide with map and information on points of interest was created. This six-mile Blue Trail offers a relaxed paddling opportunity on flatwater–great for families and people of all ages.
There are many things to discover along the Blue Trail:
Natural History – River terraces, ancient Lake Orange, oxbows…
Human History – Native Americans, riverfront fun parks, swinging footbridge…
Wildlife – Otter, Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies), birds, fish, tracking…
See what you can find!
River Flow information: USGS
MRWC’s first phase of improved access on Otter River. 2012
A primitive paddling launch was established along Plant Rd, off Rt 101, in East Templeton. This will permit paddlers to go upstream, south, towards the Otter River Conservation Area in Gardner. This area is a rustic paddle through a marsh and is flat water. Be prepared to carry over beaver dams along the way. The paddle is a fine opportunity to do wildlife viewing.
New: MRWC “launches” upper Millers and Otter River Blue Trail segments! 2017
MRWC has inaugurated the Upper Millers, Lower Otter, and Upper Otter Blue Trails. Fine tuning work is in progress (July 2017) to make final touches to complete this network. In the meantime, enjoy the near final guide map: mrwc-5-8-17-UMLO guide