A WORK IN PROGRESS

Spearheaded by the Berkshire Bike Path Council, the goal is a county-wide network combining off-road recreation trails and on-road bicycle lanes. Trails will link parks and recreation areas, schools and neighborhoods, historic sites and cultural centers, village centers and downtowns - and celebrate the distinctive landscapes of Berkshire County.

Right now, citizen groups are working to define the right kind of path and the right route for the Berkshire Bike Path in their community. It is envisioned that some sections of the bike path will make use of on-road bike lanes or share existing roadways - these will be best suited for more experienced cyclists. Other sections, like the new Ashuwillticook Trail, will provide a safe universally accessible environment that can be enjoyed by walkers, strollers, runners, cross-country skiers, in-line skaters, and cyclists of all abilities.

ASH-oo-WILL-ti-COOK
means "at the in-between pleasant river", describing the pleasant river corridor between the hills that provided a travel route for Native Americans and early settlers.

The soon-to-be-completed Ashuwillticook Trail, a 10.5 mile multi-use path from Pittsfield to Adams, offers a glimpse of the completed network. The Ashuwillticook Trail wends its way through the backwoods history and timeless natural beauty of three Berkshire County communities. Built during the industrial boom of the 19th century, the Boston & Maine Railroad spurred the growth of limestone mining operations and provided a vital link from the Atlantic seaboard to communities deep in the Berkshire Hills. The 20th century brought changes in transportation economics, leading to its abandonment in 1990, and its subsequent acquisition by the Commonwealth in 1993. The 21st century will bring yet another change, conversion of the railroad corridor as a trail for public use, reconnecting residents and nature in a safe, friendly re-use of the land.



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