ASHUWILLTICOOK RAIL TRAIL:

ADAMS-LANESBORO, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:     April 21, 2004

Length:               Ashuwillticook Rail Trail; 11 miles.

Difficulty:           Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.

Directions:

To start from Lanesboro; Take I-90 to exit 2, then Route 20 west to Route 7 north., Route 9 east to Route 8 north. The trail starts on Berkshire Mall Rd off of Route 8. This is the same entrance to the Berkshire Mall. Parking lots located here.

To start from Adams; Take Route 2 to Route 8 south into Adams. The Visitors Center is just off Hoosac St and includes a parking lot.

In 1845, the Pittsfield & North Adams Railroad developed this corridor, but was acquired by the Western Railroad during construction. In 1867, the name changed to the Boston & Albany Railroad. The New York Central took over in 1900 and then became part of Penn-Central (later Conrail) in 1970. Finally the line was sold to the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1981 and was abandoned in 1990. The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail passes through the Hoosac River Valley, between Mt. Greylock and the Hoosac Mountains. Cheshire Reservoir, the Hoosac River and associated wetland communities flank much of the trail. For more information visit; ASHUWILLTICOOK RAIL TRAIL  or  BERKSHIRE BIKE PATH .

Starting from Lanesboro; There is a sign board and restrooms located at the parking lot. 

Note; A paved Spur Trail follows Berkshire Mall Rd up to the Berkshire Mall.

Note; Future plans call for continuing the trail south into Pittsfield.

The trail parallels Route 8 all the way to Adams, providing for many different starting points. The southern half passes by large bodies of water and keeps Route 8 in eyesight, while the northern half is more isolated with some nice views of Mt. Greylock. The trail is paved 10 feet wide and relatively flat, except in Adams where it is slightly downhill. After about 1.2 miles you'll pass by Berkshire Pond. There are tons of benches and picnic tables located along the trail. An oddity is that all the mileage markers along the trail are in kilometers and not miles. At 2 miles, you'll pass one of many old Whistle stop markers. These W posts, let the train conductor know a crossing was coming up and he needed to blow the trains whistle. You now cross into Cheshire. You reach the beginning of the Cheshire Reservoir at 2 3/4 miles and tons of benches and picnic tables along its shoreline. At just over 3.5 miles, you cross Farnam's Rd, where a causeway passes through the reservoir and a parking lot is available. You finally reach the tip of the reservoir after a little over 5 miles. A cross light gets you safely over Route 8. You reach the Church Street  parking lot at 5 3/4 miles. 

Note; The Appalachian Trail uses Church St on its journey up Mt. Greylock

The Hoosic River runs alongside parts of the trail, growing larger as you head towards Adams. At 8 1/4 miles you come to a green gate across the trail and a bridge over the Hoosic River in a narrow gap. A very scenic spot. Continuing onwards across the bridge, the trail is slightly downhill until it reaches Adams. The Hoosic River parallels the trail to your left and includes an old spillway. You officially cross into Adams after 8.5 miles and come to another parking lot at Harmony Street at 10 1/4 miles. Great view of Mt. Greylock and its observation tower from here. You cross Route 8 for the final time at 10.5 miles as you enter downtown Adams. Another parking lot located here. You'll pass by the old Adams train station, now a restaurant and reach the end of the line at 11 miles next to the new Visitors Center. There are plans to continue the trail north to North Adams. Maps of the trail are available at the Visitors center. If you have time, take a quick detour down Main St (Route 8) to see the beautifully renovated mill buildings and the old armory.

Note; The trail is almost complete continuing 1.2 miles north to Lime St as of April 2017.

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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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