Ashuwillticook Rail Trail In The Berkshires

View of Cheshire Lake from the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire, MA.
View of Cheshire Lake from the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire, MA.

The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, known simply as “the rail trail” to Berkshire County residents, is a 10 foot wide, 11 mile long, paved multiuse  recreational trail that was built on a former rail corridor. The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail begins in Adams, MA and runs South parallel to Route 8 through Cheshire, MA terminating at the Berkshire Mall entrance in Lanesboro, MA.

Established in 2001, the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail was built on a former rail corridor with a history dating back to the mid 19th century. The rail corridor that was ultimately converted into the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail was first owned by the Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad and through a series of mergers and acquisitions eventually (and lastly) was owned by the Boston and Maine Corporation which ended operations of this particular rail service in 1990. In August of 2001 the first 5 miles of the rail trail were completed with the trail beginning at the entrance of the Berkshire Mall in Lanesboro and ending at the Route 8 crossing in Cheshire. The second phase of the rail trail was completed in 2003.

I can only describe the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail as being “an absolute treasure in the Berkshires” and If you haven’t yet been then you are sorely missing out. Although the rail trail technically starts in Adams, MA you can access it from any one of the following parking locations;

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Parking

The following parking areas provide access to the rail trail:

Lanesboro, MA
The Berkshire Mall entrance on Route 8

Cheshire, MA
Farnams Road
Railroad Street

Adams, MA
Russell Field on Harmony Street
Discover the Berkshires Visitor Centor at 3 Hoosac Street

The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail can be enjoyed by bicycle, roller blades, walking / jogging / running, and by pretty much any other non motorized vehicle although some restrictions may apply. The rail trail is also an excellent location for cross country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months. Dogs are allowed providing that they are leashed and under the owner’s control at all times. Also, please be sure to pick up after them!

The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing in winter months.
The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing in winter months.

From the trail you’ll see beautiful views of Mt. Greylock, Berkshire Pond, Cheshire Lake,  the Hoosic River, and more. In fact, the literal translation of Ashuwillticook means “at the in-between pleasant river.” There are numerous benches and picnic tables available for your use. Public restrooms are available at the Berkshire Mall Entrance and at the Farnams Road entrance.

IMG_20130905_181730
Sunset on Berkshire Pond in Lanesboro, MA.

If you decide to come to the rail trail please be sure to first visitthe following page on DCR’s website in order to checkout the trail map which will show you the various parking locations, restrooms, etc.. and to get a sense of the rules and regulations.

 

 

 

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