ASHUWILLTICOOK RAIL TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: June 22, 2022
Length: Ashuwillticook Rail Trail; 13.6 miles.
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.
Directions: From I-90 take exit 10 to Route 20 west to Route 7 north/Route 20 west to Pittsfield where you intersect with Route 9.
To start from the Crane Ave parking lot in Lanesboro [Southern End]; From Pittsfield continue north on Route 7 for 1.8 miles and turn right on Crane Ave. Follow Crane Ave for 2 miles. parking lot on right.
To start from the US 7/Route 8 Connector Road parking lots in Lanesboro [Southern End]; From Pittsfield continue north on Route 7 for 3.7 miles and turn right onto the US 7/Route 8 Connector Rd. This brings you to Route 8 where you'll find the US 7/Route 8 Connector Road parking lots.
To start from the Visitor Center in Adams [Northern End]; From Pittsfield continue north on Route 7 for 3.7 miles and turn right onto the US 7/Route 8 Connector Rd. This brings you to Route 8. head left (north) along Route 8. After you cross the Hoosic River into downtown Adams. Travel another 0.3 miles Hoosac St and turn right. Take an immediate right on Depot St, The Visitor Center is on your left.
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 .
Starting from the Crane Ave parking lot in Lanesboro [Southern End]; BIKE STATION & restrooms located here.
Note; Plans are in the works to extend the trail south to Merrill Rd in 2024.
The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail crosses Crane Ave and follows an open corridor through the wetlands of Unkamet Brook. You detour off the old rail bed at 1.1 miles to avoid an industrial site. Trail loops around to Route 8 and continues north before heading back to the old rail bed and the 1st of two parking lots off US 7/Route 8 Connector Road at 1.6 miles. Cross the road past the 2nd parking lot where you'll find a Map Board & restrooms.
Note; A paved Spur Trail follows US 7/Route 8 Connector Rd west up to the Berkshire Mall.
The trail parallels Route 8 to Cheshire, but is generally isolated from the traffic noise. The grade is flat with just a slight descent until you cross into Adams where the grade is a bit steeper. You parallel the Hoosic River all the way to Adams, but won't always see the river. Pass by Berkshire Pond, then cross Old State Rd at 3.4 miles. At 3.7 miles, you'll pass one of many old cement 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. At 4.4 miles you come alongside the Cheshire Reservoir where you'll find benches, picnic tables and informational signs along its shoreline. At 5.3 miles, you cross Farnam's Rd, where a causeway crosses the reservoir. Map Board here. Cheshire Reservoir parking lot located west just up Farnam's Rd. A cross light gets you safely over Route 8 at 6.8 miles. Route 8 parking lot to your left along with a Map Board. Cross a small bridge over Kitchen Brook. Pass by what I believe to be the old Cheshire Depot on your left, followed by the 1st of two Railroad Street parking lots before crossing Church & Main St at 7.5 miles. Pass by the 2nd Railroad Street parking lot.
Note; The Appalachian Trail uses Church St on its journey up Mt. Greylock.
This next section is highlighted by the Hoosic River wetlands, as the trail travels along a causeway. Head back into woods and cross a bridge over the Hoosic River and Harbor Rd at 9.9 miles. This next section is very scenic as you follow the Hoosic River past a dam through a narrow gorge alongside a ridge. The trail is more downhill until it reaches Adams. Cross into Adams at 10.2 miles. Travel underneath Grove St, followed by a bridge over the river at 11.3 miles. Follow a deep cut and travel underneath Elm St. Just before crossing Harmony St look right to spot the old elevated RR siding. Pass by the Russell Street Field parking lot at 11.8 miles. Great view of Mt. Greylock and its observation tower from here. The trail comes alongside the Hoosic River and crosses Park St (Route 8) at 12.1 miles as you enter downtown Adams. Another parking lot located here on your left.
Note; BIKE LANE travels left through downtown Adams. If you have time, take a quick detour downtown to see the beautifully renovated mill buildings and the old Armory.
You'll pass by the old Adams RR Station, now a pub, before passing a pocket park on your right and the Adams Visitors Center (Restrooms, maps, picnic table and parking) on your left and coming to Hoosac St at 12.5 miles. Cross Hoosac St and Adams Station Park will be on your right (restrooms). This serves as a station for the HOOSAC VALLEY TRAIN RIDE , a scenic train ride between Adams and North Adams. Continue north between the RR tracks and river.
Note; A Spur Trail on your left crosses the RR tracks brining you to Memorial Park.
North up on the hills are a series of wind turbines. Pass by a pedestrian over the river that leads to Murray St. Cross Cook St (spot the old RR grain silos on your right) where you veer away from the RR tracks and rail bed back alongside the river. Come to Lime St after 13.6 miles and the current end of the trail.
Note; Future plans call for continuing the trail north 1.8 miles to Hodges Cross Rd, possibly starting construction in 2025.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT