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. This Trail is good for paddling even in dry periods as the dam in Orange keeps good water levels through the trail.
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
In 2012, a primitive paddling launch was established along Plant Rd, off Rt 101, in East Templeton. This permitted paddlers to go upstream, south, towards the Otter River Conservation Area in Gardner. Now the expanded Upper Otter River Blue Trail permits paddler to explore a longer stretch of this river.
New: MRWC “launches” upper Millers and Otter River Blue Trail segments! 2017
May 2019 – due to spring flows, log jams have impacted paddling conditions. MRWC will post updates as soon as conditions warrant.
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