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.

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MCRT – Norwottuck: Reconstructed and Reopened!

Norwottuck Final

June 3, 2015

Nearly 23 months after breaking ground the Norwottuck Rail Trail reconstruction project is final done – pretty much on time and on budget.

Originally constructed in 1993, the 8.5 miles from Damon Road in Northampton to Station Road in Amherst has now been fully re-designed, re-constructed and repaired. The entire path is open, the surface is smooth and glass-free, and amenities like new signs, pullouts and picnic areas have been added to enhance the user experience.  

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) would like to thanks all the individuals at MassDOT (Department of Transportation), District 2, from the designers to the construction engineers, who made this project possible with their dedication, enthusiasm and hard work.  We would also like to thank C&A Construction and all their crews and sub-contractors for the care and attention they gave to the trail.  Finally, we’d like to thank you, the public, for your patience and support.  


We hope that all those who enjoy the trail will continue to advocate, steward and care for this valuable recreational and transportation resource in the valley.   

See you on the trail.