Congratulations Southwick, MA! Your portion of the Columbia Greenway Trail is now complete!
The Springfield Republican has a story and photos from the ribbon cutting of the Southwick Columbia Greenway rail trail on Friday, September 23, 2011. Six more miles of the trail were dedicated, which means that you can ride your bike from the Westfield, MA city line, all the way to Farmington, CT, about 30 miles! [Make sure you notice where their link for more information on the Columbia River Greenway bike path takes you!] Check out this map of the rail trails you can currently bike in Western Massachusetts!This bike trail will be a real boon to tourism in Western Massachusetts. There are not many rail trails in the Northeastern United States this long and within a short distance of other trails – here, the Manhan Rail Trail, and the Norwottuck Rail Trail, which also go for many miles. Cyclists looking for flat, scenic, long trails to bike will come to ride here. Residents will also benefit from these trails for recreation and for transportation. Perhaps some people will be attracted to live in these towns because they can easily commute to work by bike or retire in places where recreation is easily accessible and free!
What’s left to connect the Columbia Greenway Trail from Southwick to the Manhan and the Norwottuck? Two towns, Westfield, MA and Southampton, MA.
Westfield is moving forward on their portion of the bike trail, with actual development having begun. It is an entirely elevated bike path with nine bridges! Southampton Town Meeting has begun exploring rail trail development after many years of opposition.
This is an exciting time for rail trail development in Western Massachusetts!