About the Bay Circuit Trail & Greenway


The idea for the Bay Circuit Trail & Greenway first arose in 1929. It would be an “outer Emerald Necklace,” proponents said—a greenbelt that would mirror the famous string of Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks threading through urban Boston—and would provide open space for the metropolitan area’s quickly expanding population. Over the next several decades, various public and private parks and reservations were established in the area between what is now Route 128 and Interstate 495, but they failed to keep pace with commercial and residential development. In the 1980s, interest in the project was renewed, and in 1990 the Bay Circuit Alliance formed to make the trail and greenway a reality. The BCA has focused on linking segments of the Bay Circuit Trail, which provides a place for recreation while ensuring the protection of open space in the region by adding more “pearls” to the “emerald necklace.” Beginning at Plum Island and ending in Kingston Bay, the trail and greenway, is located close to 4 million people in Eastern Massachusetts. The trail provides close-to-home recreation including: walking, biking, snowshoeing, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Many sections of the trail are accessible by the MBTA commuter rail and other public transit systems.

About the Bay Circuit Alliance

Since its founding in 1990, the Bay Circuit Alliance (BCA) has served as the catalyst to make the Bay Circuit dream come true. More than 230 miles of multi-use, passive recreational trail have now been dedicated, thanks to the contributions of hundreds of volunteers in 37 cooperating towns. The Alliance is a partnership of organizations and individuals, public and private, working to complete the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway. BCA’s membership consists of six regional, four statewide, and more than 30 local member organizations, plus many interested individuals. BCA helps local communities establish their portion of the Bay Circuit Trail through planning and technical assistance, route identification, land protection, and trail management and construction. BCA also maintains contact with state and federal government representatives and agencies to promote the Bay Circuit concept and to consult on corridor-wide, trail-related issues.

In the fall of 2012, the Appalachian Mountain Club and The Trustees of Reservations, two of Massachusetts’ largest and oldest conservation organizations, began working together with the Bay Circuit Alliance in the completion, enhancement, and long-term protection of the recreational trail and greenway. The two organizations are working with the Alliance to fulfill the vision of the Bay Circuit by closing  the final gaps of the trail, recruiting and organizing volunteers, improving the trail experience through improved maintenance and signage, securing permanent protection for the trail corridor and the greenway, and encouraging the public to get out and explore the trail’s 230 miles. Read more >>

Member Organizations

Acton Conservation Trust (Concord, MA)
Acton, Town of (Acton, MA)
Andover Trails Committee (Andover, MA)
Andover Village Improvement Society (Andover, MA)
Appalachian Mountain Club (Boston, MA)
Ashland Open Space Committee (Ashland, MA)
Bedford, Town of (Bedford, MA)
Billerica, Town of (Billerica, MA)
Boxford, Town of (Boxford, MA)
BTA/BOLT, Inc. (Boxford, MA)
Concord Division of Natural Resources (Concord, MA)
Concord Land Conservation Trust (Concord, MA)
East Bridgewater Conservation Commission (East Bridgewater, MA)
Easton Conservation Commission (N. Easton, MA)
Essex County Greenbelt Association (Essex, MA)
Essex County Trails Association (Ipswich, MA)
Framingham Conservation Commission (Framingham, MA)
Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (Acton, MA)
Friends of Medfield Forests&Trails (Medfield, MA)
Friends of North Andover Trails (North Andover, MA)
Hanson Open Space Committee (Hanson, MA)
Ipswich Bay Circuit Committee (Ipswich, MA)
Kingston Conservation Commission (Kingston, MA)
Lincoln Land Conservation Trust (Boston, MA)
Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (Lowell, MA)
Massachusetts Audubon Society (Lincoln, MA)
Neponset River Watershed Association (Canton, MA)
Newbury Conservation Commission (Newbury, MA)
Pembroke Open Space Committee (Pembroke, MA)
Sharon Friends of Conservation (Sharon, MA)
Sherborn Forest and Trails Association (Sherborn. MA)
Southborough Open Land Foundation (Southborough, MA)
Sudbury Conservation Commission (Sudbury, MA)
Sudbury Valley Trustees (Sudbury, MA)
Trust For Public Land (Boston, MA)
Trustees of Reservations (Leominster, MA)
Walpole Conservation Commission (Walpole, MA)
Wayland Conservation Commission (Wayland, MA)
West Bridgewater Department of Conservation, Preservation & Recreation (West Bridgewater, MA)
Westford Conservation Trust (Westford, MA)
Wildlands Trust of SE Massachusetts (Duxbury, MA)