What a great day for biking in Western Massachusetts!
[Revised – new photos and video, 11/9/10]
Thanks to posts on the MassBike Pioneer Valley email group, I found out that the Manhan Rail Trail Bridge over Massachusetts Route 10 between Easthampton, MA and Northampton, MA is now open!
This bridge completion means you can now ride on trails from the Amherst-Belchertown town line, through Hadley, across the Connecticut River into and through Northampton along the Norwottuck Rail Trail, and through Easthampton to the Southampton line on the Manhan Rail Trail. The opening of the bridge truly moves the Manhan Rail Trail and the Norwottuck Rail Trail and their connector bike path routes into the big time. This is a transformative project, meaning biking tourism, family biking, bike commuting, walking/hiking becomes an even larger part of our regional identity and attraction.
I jumped on my bike and rode right over with the camera. My last ride over to check on the progress of the Route 10 bridge project showed new railings and paving but the bridge was not quite ready for crossing. So I was quite excited to see with my own eyes that the bridge was open.
On the way to bridge, I noticed there were new stone benches placed along the sides and the construction barriers were piled up ready for collection.
Video of my ride after the jump.
I saw plenty of people riding and walking the path on this cloudy and cold afternoon – all with huge grins, excited about the bridge finally being open. As the opening has not been officially announced, I can only imagine how many people will be using it once word gets out. Northampton the cycling mecca and envy of cyclo-tourists just got a lot better.
Here’s a video of my ride across the bridge.
There’s a whole lot of joy coming to the Pioneer Valley from cyclists looking to ride on beautiful rail trails in lovely settings. Welcome to Paradise City.