Criss-crossed by endless country roads and scenic byways, the Berkshires are a cyclist’s paradise (as long as you don’t mind the occasional climb). And whether you live in lycra, or haven’t been on a bike since you learned to drive, one of the best ways to explore our region is pedaling on two wheels.
Running 11 miles from Lanesborough to Adams, the Ashuwillticook Trail is the first completed section of a proposed 75 mile bike trail that would run the length of the Berkshires, north to south. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, you’ll find joggers, walkers and recreational and serious cyclists alike, flowing along the curves and rolls of the abandoned rail bed, but unlike road traffic, the paved Ashuwillticook never feels crowded — active, yes. It’s that bustle that lends to the sense of community you’ll find along the trail, with plenty of waves and how-do-you-do’s to be found, along with miles of solitude.
The 2.5 miles of trail along the Cheshire Reservoir offers some of the most scenic views in the Berkshires, with the shoulders of Mt. Greylock’s ridgeline stretching from the shores of the reservoir, north to the state’s highest peak. On a hot day, the breeze from across the reservoir is nearly as refreshing as the view. While this is the highlight of the trail for me, you may find that paralleling the South Branch of the Housatonic River (formerly the Ashuwillticook River), or cruising through downtown Adams on your own, separate path, to be your favorite section of trail. There’s a lot to be found along the Ashuwillticook. Just imagine the possibilities when we see the realization of the 75 mile long path!
I prefer to make this ride south to north and if I pedal the full 11 miles, I like to take a lunch at one of Adams’s tasty restaurants. The Ashuwillticook offers plenty of parking at both the northern and southern terminus, so dropping a car at one end is an easy option for those who want to experience the entire trail, without the return trip.
If you’re headed to South County with your bike, Check out these awesome bike routes for every type of rider. They’ll take you along some of the most beautiful roads in Sheffield, Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Lee and Lenox. And if you need a bike, you can rent, or buy at most of our top-notch outdoor outfitters
Now get out there and ride, take it from the Berkshire Mountain Rover!