Southampton Rail Trail Group Approaches Milestone

View of the Southampton rail corridor from the completed Easthampton Manhan Rail Trail.

Northampton, check. Easthampton, check. Ummmm…ah,Westfield, check. Southwick, check.

Hang on, something’s missing. Southampton. Southampton is the missing link in the New Haven & Northampton Canal Rail Trail. But the Southampton Greenway Committee is working to connect Southampton to the trail system along the Massachusetts section and close that gap. Best of all, they’re having a kick-start meeting this Thursday, August 2, and you can join them.

Via Friends of Northampton Trails and Greeenways, and MassBike Pioneer Valley, comes news of the Southampton support group is moving forward and how they’re making a push to get even more done.

Hi all,
The Southampton Greenway has reached an important juncture:  On July 12th we submitted an application for a Massachusetts LAND grant, which when combined with CPA funds would enable us to purchase the rail corridor from Coleman to Valley Roads.
But we are not out of the woods yet. We still have some major hurdles to cross and our first comes on September 18th, when the Town will vote at a Special Town Meeting on an article authorizing the purchase of the corridor (contingent of course on a successful LAND grant application).
To help ensure success at Town Meeting and beyond, we believe it’s imperative to “jump-start” the Friends of the Southampton Greenway.  We hope you will join us at an organizational meeting on Thursday August 2, at 7pm in the Edwards Public Library Community Room.
In the mean while, please feel free to call or email us with any questions.
Thank you for your interest support for this important project,
Karen Adamski
Michael Buehler
Outreach Working Group,
Southampton Greenway Committee
Email: southamptongreenway (AT) yahoogroups.com

This Southampton Group is putting in major work. If you live in Southampton or know someone who does, I encourage you to contact the group, get involved and help move this project along.

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About Pedal Paradise

Cyclist, Mom, Travel Nut, Bike Riding Empower-er!
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4 Responses to Southampton Rail Trail Group Approaches Milestone

  1. Patrick says:

    I was at the town meeting a dozen years ago when Southampton shot down the bike path. At the time, the town was voting to join up with Easthampton, which at that time had not yet been built. The meeting was packed to the gills, and most of them were fervently opposed. (It was after this meeting that Easthampton said ‘screw it, we’ll build ours without you’). The opponents seemed to be a mix of dirtbikers/snowmobilers who didn;t want to lose access to the rails, and multi-generational residents who didn’t want outsiders coming into their town. And there was the usual ‘hoodlums are going to ride into town on their bikes and rob my house’ arguments.
    It will be really interesting to see if, now that the town is surrounded by bikepaths to the north and south, if feelings have changed.

    • Patrick, I think many people have been holding their breath about Southampton buy-in. Hopefully, this development means the ride is changing. I know Easthampton is glad they went ahead with the trail as it’s been quite a boon both to civic pride and the local economy. Thanks for leaving a comment and for giving that history. Gina

  2. If you go to http://www.SouthamptonGreenway.org you’ll find lots of info along w almost all the presentations by the various speakers that came to the Edwards Library each month. I also have every newspaper story ever written in the local newspapers about the initial effort in Southampton back in the 1990s.

    best,
    Craig Della Penna

    • Craig,

      Thanks for adding that link. The history of this project and the supporters efforts is important. This has a long story and I hope people will take the time to contact the committee and educate themselves about that past.

      Gina

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