-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: April 14, 2012
Length: Chickadee Trail; 2.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate. Flat hard packed dirt, sand, cinder rail trail. Unimproved.
To Start from the Depot Street (Route 181) parking lot; From I-90 take Exit 8 to Route 32 and turn right. Continue straight on Route 20 west and follow to the intersection with Route 181. Follow Route 181 north to Bondsville. Turn left over the river on Depot St (Route 181) and on your right will be the dirt parking lot next to the river.
The Chickadee Trail follows the rail bed of the old Boston & Albany RR-Athol Branch and travels north along the Swift River. You can still see the bridge abutments where the old Central Mass Branch of the Boston & Maine RR crossed high above both the river and tracks. The Mass Central Rail Trail is a planned 104 mile trail from Northampton Massachusetts to Boston. It will follow the old Central Mass Branch of the Boston & Maine RR that ran between the two cities. The railroad was abandoned in 1938 after the 38 hurricane shattered the line. The trail today exists in many unconnected sections and with differing surfaces and trail names. Some sections that are complete include the Northampton Bike Path , Norwottuck Rail Trail & Mass Central Rail Trail; Belchertown in the towns of Northampton, Hadley, Amherst & Belchertown to the west of here. East of here are the Mass Central Rail Trail; New Braintree-Hardwick , Mass Central Rail Trail; Oakham-Rutland , Mass Central Rail Trail; Holden-West Boylston & Waushacum Ponds Rail Trail in the towns of Braintree, Hardwick, Oakham, Rutland, Holden, West Boylston and Sterling. For more information check out; MASS CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL , WACHUSETT GREENWAY or EAST COAST GREENWAY .
Starting from Depot Street; Travel north past the gate and alongside the Swift River. Travel past some old mill building remnants and an old RR siding bridge at a 1/4 mile. At a 1/2 mile you'll see the old stone bridge abutments on both sides of the river from where the old Central Mass Branch of the Boston & Maine RR crossed the river & rail bed. After passing by a small dam on the river the trail enters a small rock cut, which, after heavy rains becomes a mud hole. The trail improves after the cut although some obvious ATV use has left some rutting. The trail then ends after 2.3 miles at the Cold Spring Road parking lot.
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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT