Looking for something new to do this weekend in Central Massachusetts? Try exploring the abandoned train tunnel in Clinton! It’s a little dark, a little spooky, and a lot of fun.
In the early 1900s, passenger and freight trains traveled through Clinton on the Central Massachusetts Railroad, which connected Boston to Northampton. The tunnel led to a bridge that crossed above the Wachusett Reservoir.
Here is one shot of hte Central Massachusetts Railroad in Clinton from 1903:
However, by the 1950’s, train service past the Clinton area stopped, and by the 1970’s, the bridge was torn town.
What’s left now is the eerie tunnel nestled into a hill, which you’ve probably driven by many times without ever realizing it.
This abandoned tunnel makes for a random, out-of-the-box adventure. It’s quick and easy to visit, and will only require 30-60 minutes of your time total.
Tips for visiting
Here are some must-know tips if you’re thinking about visiting the tunnel:
- The tunnel is only about 0.2 miles long each way, so it’s a short walk – definitely feasible for families. (You’ll also have the short walk from where you park to the entrance. Be safe walking along the side of the road to get over there).
- These days, the tunnel is filled with lots of graffiti, some of which is definitely inappropriate. This made for an entertaining walk for our 7 year old, who thoroughly enjoyed reading lots of curse words and private parts drawn all over the walls. 😉 But not all families may feel comfortable with this. As a dietitian, I personally appreciated this graffiti artist’s committment to health:
- Wear boots or hiking shoes, because it’s wet inside the middle of the tunnel.
- Bring a flashlight to help you see. It’s not completely pitch black inside as you’ll see the pinprick of light from either end of the tunnel, but in the middle it gets pretty dark.
- There are rumors that it’s haunted, but we didn’t notice any paranormal activity while we were there. But maybe you will…
- The temperature inside the tunnel can get chillier than outside, so might be worth bringing an extra sweatshirt on a summer day. We went during the winter, so we were already bundled up.
Getting to the abandoned train tunnel
To get to the tunnel, drive along Route 62 (Boylston Street) until you get to the pull-off by the Wachusett Reservoir Dam. (You can put “Wachusett Dam and Wachusett Reservoir” into Google maps which should bring you right to that parking area).
Park here and walk north along the road – the water should be on your left. Continue walking about a quarter of a mile, until you see the remnants of a stone foundation across the street.
Cross the street and climb up the little hill next to the stone. It’ll look like this:
And then you’ll be standing right at the entrance of the train tunnel.
I hope you enjoy checking out this fun and unique piece of Massachusetts History!
Share: Have you ever been to the abandoned train tunnel in Clinton? What did you think? What are some of your other favorite out-of-the-box spots to visit?