Keystone Arch Bridges Trail

Middlefield Road fm Route 20
Chester, MA 01011

It’s a moderate out and back trail. Although I enjoyed it but won’t return.

A few facts on the arch bridges: Major George W. Whistler was the engineer who surveyed for the Western Railroad of MA in 1830s. It was the first railway to cross mountain, and made the WRM the world highest, at 1458 ft (444 meters) and the longest at 150 miles (241 km). It was so impressive, Czar Nicholas I invited Whistler to build the 400 miles (644 km) railroad,  Moscow – St. Petersburg, which is part of nowadays Trans-Siberian Railroad. However, daddy Whistler was less known than his artistic son, James MacNeil Whistler (1834-1903)

The sub contractor Alexander Birnie built 27 bridges, ranging from 65 to 70 ft (21 meters) in height, with Chester Blue granite, without mortar. The weight of the train was 12,000 pounds in 1840. More than a century later, in 2002, the average weight is 415,000 pounds. The bridges are still standing tall and proud.

the arches and bridges

The arches are difficult to see: you walk on them. The few photos here are taken when I went down a little: be careful, it can be dangerous. Most part is along the creek and during our hike, which is on August 10th, the water flows rather rapidly and the sound of it is very soothing.

The stones 


The two sign posts. There is one by the entrance but is facing down on the ground. 


Some more …


Getting there: Google map isn’t accurate – perhaps it’s remote and less frequently visited. My cell phone has no service starting from Route 20 onto Middlefield Road. Actually big part of Round 20 has no cell signal. So be mindful to download info you need before heading in.

Parking: the lot is really small on a slop that leads into the trail. It could accommodate about ten cars. When we came out, we saw one car parked on the trail (came down further than most) and few cars were parked on the road.

Things to see: emmm… other than the difficult to see arches, there is nature.

At the first fork, there isn’t a sign post. We turned left and came upon the rail. To the left is CSX no trespassing sign and if you turn right, it will get you back to the trail. We doubled back and luckily saw a couple of hikers headed to the right. We followed and began to see the blue KBT signs on the tree. On our way out on Middlefield Road, we saw a train coming toward us. Not sure it uses the same tracks we just walked on …

With a little walk in LeeTanglewood, I did 6.8 miles. We didn’t use bugs repellent. There were small bugs flew into my eyes a few times.

KBT 这些蓝花岗石拱心石桥建于1830年代. 没有用砂浆. 高65-70尺 (21米)有些是火车轨. 当时的火车只有12000 磅重 但是到2002年时已经是415000 磅了。铁路安然无恙. 工程师的儿子比较出名 James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) 是个画家

1841 沙皇尼古拉斯一世请老爸建了400哩莫斯科-圣彼得堡铁路 (跨西伯利亚铁路)

多数的石桥看不到全貌 只能走在上面.

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