The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division are working together to rehabilitate of the oldest sections of the 10.6 mile Norwottuck Rail Trail, which extends from Northampton to Belchertown, MA.  Design funding has been provided through a state and federal partnership between DCR, MassDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration.  Funding for the planned $4 million construction phase will come from federal and state funds set aside by Congressman John Olver in a federal transportation bill and by MassDOT. 

The scope of work for upgrades and safety improvements includes excavating and repaving the existing trail surface, widening up to 10-feet where possible, cutting of the trailside roots, enhancing the road crossings, changing the alignment at the Route 9 tunnel, adding turn-arounds and other universal access improvements, re-decking bridges, enhancing and installing new parking, and upgrading trail signage and other amenities.

Norwottuck Rail Trail Rehabilitation Project Updates

Occasionally during the life of this project, DCR will send out project updates informing the public of upcoming meetings or project milestones. If you would like to receive these updates, please subscribe here.

Subscribe to Norwottuck Rail Trail Project Updates

Please note: Clicking the link above will open your preferred Email application in an attempt to send an email to the DCR list serve for subscription.


Project Update Status

July 30, 2014

Path Open from Northampton to Route 116 in Amherst!

As of this week, the entire MCRT Norwottuck Trail between Northampton, and Route 116 in Amherst has re-opened!  Contractors have re-surfaced the pathway, added pull-outs, installed granite markers and built a picnic area at South Maple Street.

Many users report enjoying the new path surface and new trail amenities.


Route 116 to Southeast Street in Amherst to Close August 4!  No Access!

The section between Route 116 in Amherst and Southeast Street, in Amherst will close next week.  Work on this section will include the re-decking of two bridges, installation of new culverts, erosion repair near Amherst College, and path resurfacing.

Users will not be allowed to access or use this portion of the path until work is complete!  All users should find alternative routes and sections on which to recreate or commute.  

A potential detour is available on Route 116 and Mill Lane with return access to the trail at Southeast Street.  MassBike has posted potential detour information at

Current Anticipated Schedule and Closures:
At this time, we expect the following schedule of path closures.  All dates are subject to change.



Expected Closure

Type of Work

Possible On-Road Alternatives

Cross Path Rd., Hadley to East St., HadleyReopened! Fall 2013  
Connecticut River Bridge to Cross PathReopened! May, 2014Bridge re-decking and repairs, path repaving. 
Damon Rd. parking lotReopened! May, 2014Redesign, expansion and repaving of the lot. 
East St., Hadley, to South Maple St., HadleyReopened! May, 2014Repaving and boardwalk 
South Maple St., Hadley, to Rt. 116, AmherstReopened! July, 2014Excavation, repaving, bridge repair, and picnic area. 
Rt. 116, Amherst - Amherst College Erosion AreaAugust 2014 through September 2014Installation of new culverts, bank stabilization and stream restoration.Route 116 and Mill Lane
 Rt. 116, Amherst to South East St, Amherst August 2014 through November 2014Excavation and repaving  Route 116 and Mill Lane
South East St., Amherst to Station Rd., AmherstMarch 2015 through June 2015Excavation, repaving, and parking lot renovationSouth East St. to Station Rd.


More Information?

DCR will continue to post information, updated schedules, and closures on this project web page.

We will also provide email  updates via our Norwottuck Reconstruction ListServe.  You can sign up for the ListServ at the link below.

Subscribe to Norwottuck Reconstruction listserve

Thank you for your patience and support.