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

April 2, 2015

Spring is Here and MCRT – Norwottuck Reconstruction Resumes!

What a long winter it has been. The snow is finally melting, and contractors are back out on the trail.  The scope for the next several weeks includes:

  • Excavating the old trail from Station Road to Southeast Street
  • Re-grading and compact the sub-surface
  • Repaving this entire section
  • Restoring and repaving the Station Road parking area
  • Installing signs, kiosks, amenities and additional landscaping

Station Road to Southeast Street Closed!

The final section of the reconstruction project, Southeast Street to Station Road in Amherst, will be closed including the parking lot at Station Road.  Commuters and recreational users should plan to find detours and other locations to access the trail.  

A potential detour is available for both of this sections.  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., Hadley


Fall, 2013

Path re-paving, new parking and amenities 
Connecticut River Bridge to Cross Path


May, 2014

Bridge re-decking and repairs, path repaving. 
Damon Rd. parking lot


May, 2014

Redesign, expansion and repaving of the lot. 

East St., Hadley, to

South Maple St., Hadley


May, 2014

Repaving and boardwalk 
South Maple St., Hadley, to Rt. 116, Amherst


July, 2014

Repaving, bridge repair, and picnic area. 
Rt. 116, Amherst – Southeast Street, Amherst


November, 2014

Excavation, repaving, bridge repair, and stream restoration. 
South East St., Amherst to Station Rd., AmherstApril, 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.

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