Norwottuck Rail-Trail

Northampton, Massachusetts

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3 Reviews
4 out of 5
Historians believe that the Native Americans who first lived in the region named the area “Norwottuck,” meaning “in the midst of the river.”The rail line originated as a Massachusetts Central Railroad route in 1887, opening after nearly twenty years of planning and construction. Stretching from Northampton to Boston, the route carried both freight and passengers including Calvin Coolidge, a Northampton native. The Boston & Maine Railroad eventually took over the line, although it had been plagued by financial problems. Passenger service on the line ended at the start of the Depression, but freight service continued on the line through 1980. One of Massachusetts’ favorite rail-trails, the Norwottuck Rail-Trail is heavily used by commuting college students and by outdoor enthusiasts looking for a user-friendly trail. Surface: Asphalt. Location: Hampshire County.
Rails To Trails: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Rails To Trails: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine

by Cynthia Mascott (The Globe Pequot Press)

Historians believe that the Native Americans who first lived in the region named the area “Norwottuck,” meaning “in the midst of the river.”The rail line originated as a Massachusetts Central Railroad route in 1887, opening after nearly twenty years of planning and construction. Stretching from Northampton to Boston, the route carried both freight and passengers including Calvin Coolidge, a Northampton native. The Boston & Maine Railroad eventually took over the line, although it had been plagued by financial problems. Passenger service on the line ended at the start of the Depression, but freight service continued on the line through 1980.

One of Massachusetts’ favorite rail-trails, the Norwottuck Rail-Trail is heavily used by commuting college students and by outdoor enthusiasts looking for a user-friendly trail. Surface: Asphalt. Location: Hampshire County.

©  Cynthia Mascott/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing, Rail-Trails, Road Biking, Walking
Nearby City: Northampton
Distance: 8.5
Trail Type: Shuttle
Surface:
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Open year round
Additional Use: Skating
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Driving Directions: Directions to Norwottuck Rail-Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

7/4/2007
0

Very busy with bikers, joggers and inline skaters on a holiday morning but it's a very flat, easy, kid-friendly trail with enough range of scenery including the tressle bridge on the NHampton end to keep kids 9 & 11 amused. An easy midway access point is behind the Whole Foods Market on Rt 9 in Hadley.


11/6/2006
0

Enjoyable rail trail with minimum grade change. A lot of bumps from roots in various area's. Overall it was a pleasant 16.7 mile (round trip) ride.


7/10/2003
0

This is a nice relatively safe rail-trail for all types of users, including families. The surface was well maintained in most places. Children like riding over the old iron bridge and looking all the way down to the river, but warn them to spit down wind. My only concern would be heavy usage by the local students using the trail as a commuter route to one of the colleges. Some students tend to be speedsters trying to make up lost time.



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Apr 2018