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Annual Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail 5K May 18th

By Angie Fitton

If you’re looking for something fun, physical and fulfilling to do on Saturday, May 18th, take a ride or walk to 210 Grove Street in Franklin for the 13th Annual FBRTC 5K Road Race and Walk. A good time will be had by all, and there will be refreshments and even a raffle!

The Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC), along with the Tri-Valley Front Runners (TVFR), is once again hosting this 5K in order to showcase how much the rail trail has to offer. For years they have been working to develop the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) and soon it will be one unbroken trail from Franklin through Douglas to the Connecticut line. 

The SNETT is popular for many reasons, one of which is it’s open and available 365 days a year. The FBRTC has worked hard over the years to make it a usable resource for Massachusetts residents. They have resurfaced the track to crushed stone instead of dirt so there’s no washout and no one requires waders when it’s raining. Because of this change, the weather doesn’t inhibit your ability to walk, run or bike the path as much as prior to the enhancement. 

The Rail Trail Committee is all about promoting and being an asset to the community. Not only are they working on the 5K, but they are also advocating for changes to the industrialtrack in Franklin. If things go as planned, folks will be able to ride the train into the heart of Franklin, get out and get to the state forest off of Grove Street without ever having to use a vehicle. And with all the sidewalks going up on Grove Street, this makes for even safer foot travel. This will make being in nature even more accessible than ever!

The FBRTC is an all-volunteer committee. “These volunteers are really top notch,” states committee member Cliff Winters. “If I was in charge of a volunteer committee outside of this one, I would head hunt them personally,” he continues emphatically. Winters is also a Teaching Pastor at the New England Chapel in Franklin, as well as a Professor. He goes on to explain that the 5K isn’t the only event held on the Rail Trail. They also have things such as Story Walks where you can bring your kids for exercise and a story. They also put up a trail camera last year and discovered the trail is used by 75,000 people annually.

For anyone interested in joining the 5K, Registration the day of begins at 7:30 a.m. The race itself begins at 9 a.m. You can also get more information and sign up at or 

For those that want to be involved but cannot walk or run the 5K, The FBRTC is also looking for volunteers. They need people to help with parking, greeting and giving directions, the raffle tent, registration/bib pick-up/check-in, road crew, water stop/turn around spot and timing/start/finish/results/awards. If you wish to volunteer, the link for this is at

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