Bikeways and Trails
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Western Mass. Bikeways and Trails

Ashuwillticook River Trail (map)
Running 10.5 miles from Lanesborough to Adams along Rt. 8 and the Hoosic river, this path is the anchor for a north-south route from Vermont to Connecticut. The first 5 miles north of Pittsfield opened August 27, 2001, and construction of the rest is hoped to be complete by the fall of 2002 or spring of 2003. There is more information on the Berkshire Bike Path web site.
Northampton Bike Path
A 2.6-mile paved path on a section of the abandoned New Haven Railroad Canal Branch which roughly parallels the Connecticut River. A move is afoot to extend it to Williamsburg, Mass.
Norwottuck Trail [map] [official map]
This nine-mile-long bikepath connects Amherst and Northampton, through Hadley, parallelling MA Rt. 9 and avoiding that heavily-travelled road. With its own bridge over the Connecticut River, it is the western end of the abandoned Central Mass. railway line, the eastern end of which is being considered for a Waltham to Hudson trail. A group in Belchertown is working on extending this path eastward, and there is a possible connection to a Connecticut Valley bikeway to New Haven, CT, on the Northampton end. A connection to the U.Mass. campus is also being considered. The state also has WWW information available. Pete's Drive-In, in Hadley, has a Web page touting its trail access. There is an on-line history of the local Native Americans after whom the trail was named. Check out this survey of abutters in Hadley.
Franklin County Bikeway
This network of bike paths, lanes and routes connects the towns of the Connecticut River valley in northern Massachusetts. An alternate source of information is also available.

Future Western Mass. Bikeways and Trails

Berkshire Bike Path
The Berkshire Bike Path Council is working on a county-wide effort to create a path from Vermont to Connecticut. In 1999, they are working on building community support in Pittsfield and working with the Ashwillticook path and the town of Adams.
Greenfield Bikeway
The Greenfield Bikeway Committee is creating a system of shared-road bike routes and off-road bike paths to link "schools, businesses, residences, and other points of interest around town."
Manhan Rail Trail
The Manhan Rail Trail Committee is planning an 8 mile multi-use path stretching from the southern border of Easthampton MA to downtown Northampton, with an extra branch out to Mt. Tom Junction near the Oxbow of the Connecticut River. The trail will eventually connect with the Norwottuck Trail to Amherst and the Northampton Bike Path to Williamsburg.
Pittsfield Bike Path
A movement to build bike paths across the City of Pittsfield is growing.
UMass Connector
This 2-mile connection between the Norwottuck Trail and the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts is the highest priority bicycle project in the Pioneer Valley, but the Massachusetts Highway Department has delayed it so long that it is losing its ISTEA funding. On September 21, 1999, it was reported ( 1, 2) that the MHD would find the money to build it even if the ISTEA deadline passed, and that it would go out to bid by November 1, 1999.
Williamsburg Bike Path [pictures]
The path will connect to the Northampton Bike Path at Look Park and follow a rail right-of-way along the Mill River to the Haydenville Line. There the Williamsburg section begins. The trail will follow the Mill River until it reaches Route 9. A Bike Path bridge will span Route 9, allowing the trail to continue along the railroad bed as it crosses High Street and parallels Route 9 about 100 yards from the street. The railroad bed ends at Kellogg Road. There the trail will go along the edge of Route 9 for a whicle, then curve behind some shops and hug the riverbank until it ends in Williamsburg center. At some time in the future the Mill River bridge may be rebuilt, allowing foot and bike traffic to cross the river at that point. There has been a lot of opposition to this trail, but the proponets have worked hard and are raising private money to proceed.

Last updated February 18, 2003 by Doug Mink