Adventure East, Biking Trip – Rutland to Northampton
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 branch 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 complication, etc., the van will shadow the ride on the nearest roads.
Duration: Approximately 5 hours riding and 1.5 hours shuttling
Length: 59 miles
Elevation: +1800 -2731 = -931.
Timing: Aside from Meeting Points all times are approximate
- 7:20 Meeting Point 1: Adventure East Shuttle. Park at Sunderland Library, 20 School Street, Sunderland 7:45 Meeting Point 2: Northampton Public Health Department, 23 Service Center Rd. Northampton. This is just down the street from Northampton Bicycle where we will go after the ride.
- 8:00 Depart Northampton
- 8:20 Meeting Point 3: Amherst Common
- 9:00 Beginning of course
- 4:00 End of ride in Northampton and grab a beer at Northampton Cycle (not included)
- 5:00 Depart from Northampton
- 5:20 Shuttle arrives in Amherst
- 5:45 Shuttle arrives in Sunderland
Age:16 and up
Fitness Level:Moderate – Must be able to sustain moderate riding pace for several hours
Skill Level:Intermediate – Comfortable riding on paved and gravel surfaces and in traffic.
Dates/Times:May 28, August 28, September 11