ASHUWILLTICOOK RAIL TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: September 24, 2017
Length: Ashuwillticook Rail Trail; 12 miles.
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.
To start from Lanesboro [Southern End]; 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 [Northern End]; 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 .
Note; The trail from the Berkshire Mall to the Visitor Center in Adams is planned to be re-paved sometime in 2020.
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 1.5 miles into Pittsfield in 2019 or 2020 and building a new parking lot off Crane Ave.
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. You follow the Hoosic River wetlands. Mile markers are painted on the trail every mile. Informational signs a map boards located along the trail. Travel underneath Old State Rd at 0.3 miles, pass by Berkshire Pond, then cross Old State Rd at 1.7 miles. At 2 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. You reach the beginning of the Cheshire Reservoir at 2.7 miles where you'll find benches and picnic tables along its shoreline. At 3.7 miles, you cross Farnam's Rd, where a causeway crosses the reservoir. Map board here. Cheshire Reservoir parking lot located on Farnam's Rd. A cross light gets you safely over Route 8 at 5.1 miles. Cross a small bridge over Kitchen Brook. Pass by what I believe to be the old Cheshire Depot on your left, followed by the Railroad Street parking lots before crossing Church & Main St at 5.9 miles.
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 river and Harbor Rd at 8.3 miles. This next section is very scenic as you follow the river past a dam through a narrow gorge alongside a ridge. The trail is slightly downhill until it reaches Adams. Travel underneath Grove St at 9.5 miles, followed by a bridge over the river. Follow a deep cut as you enter Adams. Travel underneath Elm St, then Cross Harmony St and pass by the Russell Street Field parking lot at 10.1 miles. Great view of Mt. Greylock and its observation tower from here. The trail comes alongside the Hoosic River and crosses Route 8 at 10.5 miles as you enter downtown Adams. Another parking lot located here.
Note; BIKE LANE travels left through downtown Adams.
You'll pass by the old Adams RR Station, now a restaurant, before passing a pocket park on your right and the Adams Visitors Center (Restrooms, maps and parking) on your left and coming to Hoosac St at 10.8 miles.
Note; If you have time, take a quick detour down Main St (Route 8) to see the beautifully renovated mill buildings and the old Armory.
Cross Hoosac St and the Adams Station Park will be on your right. 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. 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 where you veer away from the RR tracks back alongside the river. Come to Lime St after 12 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 2020.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT