BURLINGTON – Pedestrians frequenting the Landlocked Forest trails will have dry feet, thanks to a wooden walkway that is set to be erected on one of the muddier trails.

At the most recent Board of Selectmen meeting, the board unanimously approved a proposed wooden walkway for a specific landlocked parcel trail.

The suggestion was initiated and put forth by the Friends of the Landlocked Forest, with the primary objective to make essential improvements to one of the dirt trails.

“This wooden walkway will provide a more enjoyable walking experience for the public,” assured Town Administrator Paul Sagarino.

Martha Simon, a representative of the Friends of the Landlocked Forest, explained to the Selectmen that the dirt road trail has areas that get very muddy in the spring, hence the need for a supportive walkway. Simon confirmed the portion of the trail in question is no longer than 20 yards.

The Landlocked Forest is very popular with walkers and bicyclists. In recent years, the Burlington Recreation Department has organized bike rides for kids and adults, as well as barbecues.

“I am really delighted more people are using the [Landlocked Forest],” stated Simon. “Adding this wooden walkway will preserve and improve the trails and woods within the [Landlocked Forest].”

The New England Mountain Biking Association will be responsible for building the walkway, as Simon noted, the association has all the equipment and knowledge to complete the task.

The construction process will be shorter and less work than the boardwalks that were recently completed throughout the forest.

Burlington Conservation Administrator John Keeley has signed off on the wooden walkway plans, leaving the Selectmen with the confidence to unanimously approve the trail improvement. The hope is to get the walkway installed before October.

Further information on the Landlocked Forest

In 1986, the town of Burlington took the Landlocked Forest by eminent domain to protect the community’s open space and preserve its water supply. Burlington Town Meeting voted by a two-thirds majority to purchase the Landlocked Forest, knowing the vital role the open land plays in purifying rain water that runs off into the town’s water supply.

Most of the Landlocked Forest is in the town’s Zone 3 Water Protection District, which drains into the Vine Brook aquifer located along the Middlesex Turnpike. The forest, which runs along the easterly side of Route 3, is a recreational, water preserving, pollution-absorbing asset that can serve important needs without being paved over. 

The Landlocked Forest has always been deemed by residents as a “recreational asset” because of the legal pedestrian access that exists.

The Landlocked Forest is protected under the Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Article 97 Land Disposition Policy, which is the policy of EEA and its agencies to protect, preserve and enhance all open space areas covered by Article 97 of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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