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Take a walk: Pepperell’s new maps have lots of choices

Take a walk: Pepperell’s new maps have lots of choices
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PEPPERELL — The town is full of places to delight walkers. From off the beaten path to retail district sidewalks, there is something for everyone.

All those places just became much easier to discover, thanks to two separate maps released at the end of July.

“The Pepperell Trail Guide” describes almost 20 miles of trails in 16 different conservation areas.

“We tried to make it clear,” said Paula Terrasi, the conservation administrator for the town. Trails are marked. Distances, directions and parking areas are on maps.

The online guide has much more than maps. “It’s also about telling the story of how these protected spaces came into being,” wrote Ken Hartlage, the president of Nashoba Conservation Trust in an email. “The result is a beautiful mosaic of forests, fields and waterways that connects each of us to our natural surroundings and brings us together as a community.”

The guide is a joint effort between the trust and the Pepperell Conservation Commission.

Funding was also a collaborative effort. Both the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation and the Norcross Wildlife Foundation provided support.

The trail guide is in electronic form and more trails will be added, Terrasi said.

Another map was developed with input from the older residents in town. Planners met with residents at the Senior Center to learn what they thought was needed to meet their needs.

Seniors said they wanted a map of places where they can safely walk, said Susan McCarthy, director of the Council on Aging.

They also wanted to know how far apart locations are and where they could sit and have a rest, Terrasi said. As it turns out, there are lots of benches around town.

“Walk and Bike Pepperell: Information for Residents and Visitors” has a map on one side and text with exercise pointers for older adults on the other.

The work was funded by a $6,540 “Healthy Chapter” grant from the Massachusetts Association of Boards of Health. It was administered by the North Middlesex Council of Governments.

Kalene Gendron, the town’s health agent, wrote the grant and worked on the project. The work also resulted in a new chapter for the town’s open space plan, Terrasi said.

The trail guide can be found online at nashobatrust.org and at town.pepperell.ma.us. The walk and bike map is available around town including at the Senior Center.

Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter and Tout @a1oconnor.