LOCATED AT: 143 COUNTY ROAD, IPSWICH MA MAIL: P.O. BOX 576, IPSWICH, MA 01938 PHONE: 978-412-8200 FAX: 978-412-9100
Wilmington – Reading Loop
Starting Point: Take Rte. 93 to Concord Street exit. Go west to 1st traffic light after the highway entrance. Turn left on Woburn Street. You’ll see the small bridge crossing shortly.
- Starting at the Jenks Bridge on the Ipswich River and heading north on Woburn Street in Wilmington is a level, slightly curving road with sandy shoulders. You pass across Concord Street at a stoplight and pass by a number of older homes with some open space along a curving stretch of road with little traffic. Heading uphill, past some newer houses and at the top of the hill you pass the Woburn Street school and cross over Route 93.
- After crossing Route 93, the road becomes Park Street and the route begins a long downhill stretch through a pleasant neighborhood. As the route levels out again, in North Reading now, there are more trees and the houses are further apart.
- This section comes to a short downhill slope at a stop sign where Park Street merges with Concord Street near the Seven Acres Poultry Farm in North Reading.
- Continue to follow Park Street for about a 1/4 mile to the midpoint of a gentle downhill slope.
- Turn right onto Mill Street. Mill Street heads downhill for about a quarter mile to the Mill Street Bridge over the Ipswich River. This is a very historic site, the location of a sawmill and water wheel in the 1700’s and the Reading Water Works here in the 1800’s.
- The road slopes uphill along Mill Street another quarter mile or so to the merge with Route 28, Main Street in Reading. You can ride on the sidewalk for the short uphill stretch of Route 28 to the traffic light at the Franklin Street intersection. (You might pause here for some ice cream at Dandelions on the southeast corner.)
- To continue, turn right onto Franklin Street. At the beginning of Franklin Street is a locally famous house shaped like a ship. The street is a pleasant curving residential street with a little topography.
- Franklin Street comes to a T-intersection with Grove Street where you turn left. (If you turn right, you can pass Meadowbrook Golf Course and within a mile, right near the end of the street, on the right is the entrance to the Reading Water Treatment Plant on Strout Avenue. Strout Ave. is the easiest way into the Reading Town Forest, a lovely property bordering on the river which is described in the canoeing/kayaking section.
- Back to the left turn onto Grove Street.
- Continue on Grove Street, crossing at the traffic light at Route 129, Lowell Street in Reading. Across Route 129, the street becomes Willow Street. Willow Street is narrower and has more traffic in general than Grove Street. Just before the railroad tracks on the left is a small path heading south into Reading Conservation Land. This wetlandy area is part of the headwaters of the Aberjona River.
- Cross over the railroad tracks and past Austin Preparatory School on the right. Continue to the first stop sign where Summer Street comes into Willow and West Street.
- Turn right and right again onto West Street. This section is mostly uphill and crosses once again over the Aberjona’s north branch just before a new road into an office development which is planned between West Street and Route 93.
- Cross over route 93 into Wilmington and down slope and around the bend and cross through the stop light at the intersection with Route 129 –Lowell Street in Wilmington.
- Continue following West Street until it merges into Woburn Street. In about a quarter mile you cross the railroad tracks and are back again at the Jenks Bridge where you started.