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Rutland to Northampton via Mass Central Rail Trail • April 18, 2020
This 59 mile ride traces the Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT) Right of Way where possible. The first ten miles are nicely groomed stone-dust, in the Wachusett Greenways section of the MCRT inside Rutland State Park. There are a number of railroad cuts and causeways across bodies of water. The last 11 miles are the lovely paved MCRT’s Norwottuck segment from Belchertown to the finish in Northampton. There are many miles of good unpaved rail trail in eastern Belchertown now owned by the town.
Also in the Hardwick/New Braintree area there are several miles owned by the East Quabbin Trust that includes several restored railroad bridges. One of these bridges is the last of its type still standing in New England. There are some sections where the trail is blocked or bridges missing and we ride country roads, or through small towns. Some go ’rounds are even singletrack or fisherman’s trails. Things change over time, so this is an adventure. Each year the trail has more and more sections open.
This ride is best on a gravel or adventure bike, but a mountain or fat bike with a strong rider can work just as well. Bring all the food and water you’ll need. In case of a major mechanical etc, the van will shadow the ride on the nearest roads. Elevation: +1800 -2731 = -931.