446 Damon Rd.
Northampton, MA 01060
413 586-8706 ext. 12

The Norwottock Rail Trail is an 11 mile path linking Northampton, Hadley, and Amherst along the former Boston & Main Railroad right-of-way. The path's level terrain provides safe passage for pedestrians, wheelchairs, joggers, skaters, bicyclists, and cross-country skier of all ages and abilities. Motorized vehicles and horses are prohibited. Both ends of the path offer free parking for trail users – Elwell State Park on Damon Road in Northampton and Station Road in South Amherst. Public restrooms are available at the parking area at Elwell Recreation Area.

Norwottuck Trail Map pdf format of    Norwottuck Trail Map  file size 2MB

 


Expect Path Closures for Reconstruction through November 2014! For detail see,

MCRT - Norwottuck Branch Rail Trail Rehabilitation Project


Park Directions

The rail trail is located in the central Ct River valley.

From the West:
Head east on I-90 E
Take exit 4 for I-91 toward Holyoke/Springfield - 0.6 mi
Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-91 and merge onto I-91 N - 13.8 mi
Take exit 19 toward Northampton - 0.2 mi
Go straight through traffic light -   Park will be on the right 358 ft

From the East:
Head west on I-90 W
Take exit 4 for I-91toward Springfield/Holyoke - 0.2 mi
Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-91 and merge onto I-91 N - 13.8 mi
Take exit 19 toward Northampton - 0.2 mi
Go straight through traffic light - Park will be on the right - 358 ft

From the North:
Take I-91 S
Take exit 20 to merge onto N King St- 0.4 mi
Turn left at Damon Rd - Park will be on the left - 0.9 mi

Recreational Opportunities


History

The railroad was built in 1887 by the Central Massachusetts Railroad Company. It connected the City of Boston with the City of Northampton. Shortly after the railroad was completed, it was leased by the Boston and Maine Railroad Company and referred to as the Central Massachusetts Branch. By the 1920s there were three round trip passenger trains and numerous freight trains running between Boston and Northampton. As the automobile and trucking industries grew, railroads began to lose their importance. Passenger service continued until 1932 and freight service continued until 1979, primarily to deliver goods to the Farmer’s Supply warehouse in Amherst. The property was acquired by the DCR (formerly DEM) in 1985 and in 1993 was developed into a recreational trail. The rail trail was named Norwottuck at the suggestion of the Hadley Historical Commission. Historians believe that the Native Americans who lived here before the European settlers were called the Norwottucks. Translated, norwottuck means “in the midst of the river,” the Native American term for the entire area.