Depot Rail Trail
The Depot Rail Trail is a 2 mile walking trail along an abandoned railroad bed that once provided rail service to downtown Spencer. It runs from South Spencer Road to Chestnut Street. There is a trail designated parking area is at the southwest trailhead (65 S. Spencer Rd) just before the railroad bridge and Lyford Road. Also, public parking in the Elm Street downtown parking lot is within 2 blocks northeast of the Chestnut Street trailhead.
Depot Rail Trail Phase 1 Completion Notice: We are pleased to announce that the Phase 1 Depot Rail Trail Restoration and Improvement project has been completed and the trail is OPEN to the public. It is beautiful! Please check it out and enjoy a wonderful day out there. We would very much like to thank the DCR Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for the Phase 1 Grant and thank you very much to a host of workers and local volunteer organizations and individuals including the Spencer Trailways, the Snowbirds, the Spencer Conservation Commission, our contractor E.M. Thibault Excavation, Inc. and the Spencer Highway Department for all their hard work and exceptional efforts. The Phase 1 work included major drainage improvements, vegetative clearing/cleanup, new trail head gates, regrading and shaping of the entire trail, the installation, grading and compacting of several hundred tons of millings and much more. The improvements are overwhelming. Future goals and objectives are to continue the restoration and begin Phase 2 accessibility enhancements in 2017. At our May 2015 Town Meeting the citizens of Spencer voted to set aside $25,000.00 into a Capital Account dedicated for use on the trail with the goal of obtaining additional DCR Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant funds to complete Phase 2. In August 2016 we received notice that we were awarded the Phase 2 grant by DCR and the RTP in the amount of $50,000. Again, special thanks to the DCR RTP and the many volunteers and Town staff that have assisted with these efforts and especially the recently completed portions of the Phase 1 project.
Midstate Trail is a scenic footpath extending 92 miles across central Massachusetts, from the New Hampshire border on Mt. Watatic to the Rhode Island border in Douglas State Park. Marked with yellow triangles, the trail enters Spencer from Oakham above the western shore of Browning Pond, just past a well-known landmark known as Sampson’s Pebble. The trail exits into Charlton through the Four Chimneys Recreation Area on Borkum Road.
Sibley & Warner Farms
The 350-acre Sibley and Warner Farms in Spencer is located between Greenville Street and Main Street (Route 9) and is permanently protected by a conservation partnership that includes the Mass Audubon, Greater Worcester Land Trust, Common Ground Land Trust, Town of Spencer, and several agencies of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. The property offers great conservation value: fields, upland forests, and a variety of wetlands with diverse, high-quality wildlife habitat; acres of rolling hayfields on prime agricultural soils; many opportunities for recreation; and scenic views from Route 9 and many of the interior trails. The Mid-State Trail passes through the property on its way from Rhode Island to New Hampshire, and woods roads and trails offer great opportunities for hiking, nature study, and other pursuits. The end result is that Mass Audubon owns the southern 25 acres of the property referred to as Sibley Farm Meadow, where parking and an orientation area is located, which will also become the new main entrance to Mass Audubon’s adjacent Burncoat Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. The remainder is owned and managed by the Greater Worcester Land Trust, a fine regional trust that will manage the property for a variety of uses including agriculture, forestry, and compatible recreation. All of the property is subject to permanent restrictions held by our partners that ensure that the land will never be developed and will always be open to the public to enjoy. The Sibley acquisition is a key piece in an exciting, emerging open space mosaic. With its acquisition, a 600-acre natural area is now protected east of Greenville Street that includes our existing Mass Audubon sanctuary and Town of Leicester conservation land. The state grant that provided major funding for the Sibley property also provides funding so that the Department of Conservation and Recreation, with Mass Audubon’s help, could acquire 225 acres that links the Sibley property to the nearby Spencer State Forest.
Spencer Snowbirds Snowmobile Club
The Spencer Snowbirds Snowmobile Club, a private organization, maintains a network of snowmobile trails throughout the town, crossing both public and private property.