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Athol, MA Town Information

Athol is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 11,584 at the 2010 census.

 

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.4 square miles (86.5 km2), of which 32.6 square miles (84.4 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) (2.46%) is water. The town is drained mostly by the Millers River, which flows through the downtown area from northeast to west, towards the Connecticut River. The Tully River flows into the Millers within town, and many other streams cross the town. Parts of Tully Lake and Lake Rohunta lie within town, as does Lake Ellis and several other small ponds. The soil of Athol is rough and stony, and the terrain is wooded and hilly, with elevations ranging from 500 feet (150 m) above sea level at the edge of the Millers River to 1,282 feet (391 m) at the top of Pratt Hill near the Bearsden Forest. A large portion of the Millers River Wildlife Management Area lies within town, as does a small portion of Petersham State Forest.

 

Athol lies along the western edge of Worcester County, with Franklin County to the west. It is bordered by Royalston to the north, Phillipston to the east, Petersham to the south, New Salem to the southeast, and Orange to the west. From its town center, Athol lies 23 miles (37 km) east of Greenfield, 25 miles (40 km) west of Fitchburg, 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Worcester, and 67 miles (108 km) west-northwest of Boston. The vast majority of population is settled around the downtown area, with the rest of the town being relatively sparsely populated.

 

Athol lies along Route 2, the major east-west route through northern Massachusetts. It passes concurrently with U.S. Route 202 as a limited access highway through town, with its old route, now Route 2A, passing through downtown Athol. For 1.4 miles (2.3 km), Route 32 is concurrent with Route 2A, coming north from Petersham east of downtown before continuing north along the eastern edge of downtown towards Royalston.

 

The town still has its old train station downtown (the depot), along the Springfield Terminal rail line, formerly a part of the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. Before the filling of the Quabbin Reservoir, Athol was the end of the Springfield, Athol and North-eastern Railroad, a spur line off the Boston and Albany Railroad, a line which passed through the now-submerged town of Enfield towards the main line in Springfield. A line of the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA) bus line provides access between the town and Greenfield. A line of Montachusett Area Regional Transit (MART) provides service from Orange through Athol and into Gardner. The nearest general aviation airport to Athol is the Orange Municipal Airport, with the nearest national air service airports being Bradley International Airport to the south and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport to the north, both of which are an hour's drive away.

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

Image: "MillersRiverMA". Via Wikipedia.