The Southern New England Trunk Line Trail (SNETT) is a 23-mile converted rail-trail that runs from Franklin State Forest in Franklin, Massachusetts, to Thompson, Connecticut, just over the Massachusetts border. In Thompson, it connects with the Air Line State Park Trail, which runs for 55 miles southwest to East Hampton, Connecticut. The SNETT is not commonly used as a point-to-point trail, but is by cyclists and hikers looking for shorter trips in or near the towns it passes through, such as Franklin, Bellingham, Blackstone, Millville, Uxbridge, and Douglas.
Do note that while some parts of the trail are well-maintained and composed of packed gravel or pavement, some parts are unimproved and require navigation along uneven dirt through dense forest undergrowth, meaning a bit more of a workout for you and your dog! The trail is also not fully continuous. Some interrupted points require navigation only across a street or two to reconnect with the trail, while in a couple of places, the trail abruptly stops at the edge of unfinished bridges. Work is actively being done to improve the trail and connect sections that are currently disconnected, so be ready to do this long trail in pieces. Hikers typically contain their trips to one of three divided sections of the trail: the 12-mile western segment from East Thompson to Ironstone, the 3.5-mile segment from Massachusetts 146 in Ironstone to the Blackstone River, and the 6.5-mile eastern segment from Blackstone to Franklin.
People and their pups who seek out any segment of this trail will be treated to beautiful New England forest scenery. Fall colors are especially magnificent here. Wildflowers add pops of color to the dense green undergrowth in spring and summer. The lush, full canopy of mature deciduous forest provides shade for much of the trail's length. In places, the trail is defined by gaps through natural rock ledges, while other sections pass by ruins of old stone buildings and fences. History buffs will enjoy some of the buildings along the trail's route, like two beautifully constructed 1850s stone churches: St. Paul's Catholic in Blackstone and St. John's Episcopal in Millville.
Try the Southern New England Trunk Line Trail with your doggo for a different kind of adventure. Here, the relics of the past link with the ongoing work of the present to make this trail into a well-developed resource for the future.