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The Southwick Rail Trail is now complete from the Massachusetts–Connecticut state line, where it continues south as the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. On the north end, the trail extends to the Westfield town line and connects to the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail.
The Southwick Rail Trail travels through swamps and farmland, passing several golf courses along the way. At the Connecticut state line you can see the remains of the New Haven to Northampton Canal, from which the rail-trail got its name. The trail offers numerous kiosks and resting places.
There is good parking at Congamond Road and plans to improve parking in the future.
Take Mass Pike to Exit 3/Westfield; take SR 202 South into Southwick and turn left onto Depot Street. Turn right on Sheep Pasture Road and follow it for about 1.3 miles. On the right is a private lot used for bike path access.
Alternatively, to reach the most southerly parking area for bike path access, go through the second light on SR 202 and follow for it for 3 miles; you'll be heading south until the third traffic light; turn left on Congamond Road and follow it for 2.5 miles. Look for Miller Road on the right, where you turn right; parking is on the right.
Also, following SR 57 West from Springfield, MA, will bring you into Southwick; at the first traffic light take a left then follow directions above from second traffic light.
Other than there not being any way to refill my water bottle or get water without taking my own, the trail is a calming and beautiful place that is great for any age.
I have noticed that there are a handful of water fountains that are not usable (no running water)! Please, if you are wondering why there are not any working water fountains or if you want to get some put up at the "rest stops" let me know!
Rode this trail on a nice weekend day in September 2015. The trail is immaculate, extremely well maintained, and connects at the north end with the Columbia Greenway and at the south end with the Farmington trail. We have ridden from Iron Horse Boulevard on the Farmington Trail all the way to the Columbia trail...the northern section in Connecticut is awesome and it's so great to see how it's now extending North! Check the websites for all three trails, you can piece them together and go for 40+ miles!
Great ride! But the porta-potty at the Southwick parking lot is DISGUSTING and almost overflowing. Nasty. Absolutely nasty.
I did not realize there were any nice bike/walking paths in the area. This was a beautiful ride, very well maintained and paved, easy ride for bike trailer for our toddler. A good number of bike riders out on an overcast Sunday but not overly crowded. Could not find parking lot on Sheep Pasture Rd but easy to find on Congamond (sp?) with good signage. I wish there were mile markers so you know the distance you've gone but I guess there are so many phone apps that do not now. We will be back soon.
This is a great trail for the average or even novice biker. Flat, well-paved and wide enough to ride with the children. You don't have to be working on prep for the Tour de France. We were walkers, so it wasn't quite enjoyable on a nice summer day, mostly because it was dominated by the bikes. We felt like we were in the way -- not that anyone was rude, because no one was. But I think next time we'll choose a trail that has a fewer bikers.
Easy ride and beautiful views. Plenty of parking accessible at/through the Shaker Farms Country Club parking lot in Westfield. My kids loved it!
We did this trail last weekend. Nice easy ride. The trail has not been extended past Westfield. The sides of the trail are well groomed like all of Ma. Trails, you can tell when you have reached the Farmington Canal Trail, different appearance. We will do the Southwick Trail again
I rated this before as part of the Farmington Canal Trail. Silly me! I forgot it was a different trail, even though it connects directly to that trail. In fact it starts right at the state line.
I love this trail so much. It's beautiful, it's safe, it's diverse - I just love it soooo much! The day they finish the next part (Westfield to Northampton) I am so there.
does anybody know if the bike trail that stops right at westfield point has been extended yet? because last summer it stopped at the westfield line so i was wonder if they worked on it at all since then
Changed over my mountain bike off-road tires to rail-trail tires. This makes riding a lot easier. Today's date is 9 September 2012. Biked to Simsbury Airport and back to Southwick. Outstanding trail! An adult with kids professionally painted the street names where the trails cross Ct. roads today to help w/navigation. Keep up the Great Job to those behind the scenes! Thanx, "Bubba" Operation Iraqi Freedom 1, 2003. US Army Combat Soldier
My first time on an established trail, I rode from Rt 20 in Granby up to Westfield. The Southwick Trail section was very nice. I plan on going back after I hit a couple others in the area. O.
1st time exploring this trail and loved it! Traveling w/ kids I always hope for breaks w/ snacks and drinks. The trail head has a great sandwich, bakery, and ice cream place and shortly into Simsbury there is pizza and a little market w/ signs on the trail. Can't wait to see the trees change from this trail and to explore more of it!
This is an excellent trail for road bikers that seamlessly connects to the Farmington Canal Trail in Connecticut. So far, you can ride uninterrupted from Farmington, CT all the way to Westfield, MA and back. Very well-developed trail and an absolute minimum of hilly areas. I can't wait for them to extend the Massachusetts trail from Westfield all the way to Southampton!
Entering the rail trail coming from downtown Westfield at the Shaker Road Shaker Farms golf course parking lot area is clearly marked well paved and plenty of parking. Really like the attention to detail with the tall and sturdy railings and clearly marked path, its a nice touch to have crossing lights as well. The scenery is very diverse with golf courses, tree lines, wooded areas, marshes, ponds, farms, and love that it dumps out at South Pond Congamond which is a nice area for boating and sight seeing. This path is newer than many so it is smooth and pleasant. Very emotionally soothing visually. I have found the participation from other riders and walkers to be very good but not overcrowded and like that the path connects with the Farmington Trail through Avon Simsbury. Looking forward with great hope to the extensions leading to downtown Westfield and who knows maybe someday connecting with Easthampton, Northampton and Amherst Manhan and Norwottuck trails. Haven't had this much pleasure since younger days of visiting Disney World. Nice Touch.
This is a great little ride.
I would recomend you wait to explore this section. The construction is still ongoing and you will get in the way of the workers efforts and could get hurt or make extra work for them. The work on this section is expected to be done by the end of the month and it wont be long now.
Today I was pleased to find that extension of the Southwick rail trail is in progress. There is a first layer of pavement from where the pavement used to end up to Shaker Road. On the other side of Shaker Road there was some heavy equipment and clearing in progress. I posted two pictures of the work. One is looking North from Shaker and the other is looking South.
Great news. the extension into Westfield called the Columbia bikeway is due to go out to bid and parking at the north end near Shaker farm road will be build and open by June. this is the first of three stages and hopefully will be done by 2015. This will when finished bring the Canal trail 3 1/2 miles closer to Southampton.
Rode the trail today from the beginning in Farminton , CT to the 25 mile marker in MA. I was just south of Westfield, MA when I had to turn around for the 50 mile round trip. I was told that I could have continued for at least another 5 miles to the North. I have done a lot of rail trails on the East coast, including the Sliver Comet in Ga. , the Chief Latigia(sic?) in Alabama, the New River trail in VA , and I must say this trail is right up there with those stars. There is plenty of great scenery, a nice smooth surface, quite a bit of shade(for the summer), a lot of places to stop off for a drink(also there are water fountains in parks that the rider goes through) and an adequate number of maps along the way. I would highly recommend this trail to riders looking for a great ride in western MA and CT.
Westfield. the Trail is about 100 yards west of the gulf course and just after you pass munger hill road. It is really on the westerly boundary of the course.
There is some parking at the Shaker Farm entrance. It's dirt and there's enough room for 5 or 6 cars right now. The trail starts out on soft dirt but quickly turns to pavement. Great smooth trail. The only thing I would like to see is the large metal pieces of trash removed from alongside of the trail (truck beds, car doors, bed spring frames), but it does look like it is in piles to be removed soon. Very peaceful ride and we even saw a large crane on one of the ponds.
where on shaker road does the southwick rail trail start exactly?.. i live in westfield and drove by the golf course but didnt really see a place where the trail was. also are there any places to park by the trail? thanks !! :)
The trail has been completed - starting at Shaker Road in Westfield, just up the road from Shaker Golf course. My wife and I road Saturday down to the Newgate reservation in East Granby and back. Weather and the trail were excellent. So happy to have this close to our home. Looking forwarding to building up our endurance and riding all the way toe Farmington, CT.
I believe the above map is a little off. The trail is completed across both ways from Feeding Hills Road now. The only thing that is lacking is there are information booths w/ nothing in them and really no trash areas. Hard to throw away anything, especially when walking dogs. Tons of dogs out there and i see owners are finding it easier to just leave the waste.
Very nice ride today although a bit cold and windy. Started from rt 20 in Grandby and continued up to the end in Westfield. Met a few other bikers and walkers out today braving the weather. The trail is nice and smooth passing by farms, streams and some residential areas. I've now completed the entire canal trail (not in one day, yet) from Yale in New Haven, CT to Westfield, MA. This section is a nice change from my usual routes in Chesire and Farmington. Looking foward to this trail finishing northward to connect with North / East Hampton, which could make for a nice long ride someday. Further dreaming would include Plainville to Farmington and Cheshire north of Cornwall Ave. Congrats to Southwick and Westfield for a job well done.
The trail is now open and done from the Conn. Line 6 1/2 miles to the westfield line. They only have to install a flashing light on Rt. 57. Lots of use and hopefully they will establish more parking area's. Now if Wesfield wil get the money and extend the trail north into town. Plans are for three stages to be done in 2015, but that I will have to see.
Heading South from route 57 you'll find a relatively unexciting trail except for the largest stand of Sumac on right 1/2 mile in. This stand has sumac stands at 100 feet tall with 9" diameter trunks. South of Depot to Congamond Rd follows a golf course and tobacco fields with some nice wetland areas. At the junction of Congamond rRd there is a good refreshment stand on west side of trail " Red Riding Hoods Basket" with coffee, water, sandwiches. continue south through 2-3 miles of scenic wetland. This path follows the "Ice Canal" used for transporting lake ice from the Congamond ponds south. later turned into a RR.
This section is quiet located mostly away from major roads.
9/17/10 I have been riding this trail in over lapping sections. last week East Gramby Ct to Mass Line . Today from Point Grove Rd. to Ct. state line back North to beyond West Sams St. to asphalts end, then back down to Point Grove Rd. a 12.5 mile ride. I have a MAJOR concern, this web site, list Pointe Grove Road as a Trail Head.
If following this site, the parking area is a gravel lot across from the Oak & Keg package store . Point Grove Road goes over the trail and is easly missed, unless looking for a land mark like the package store.
Access to the trail is past a Jersey Barrier then down a very sandy path to you find two more Jersery Barriers then down the hill to the trail. At this point you would be better off going to West Sam Rd and riding south. A Note of intrest at the trail markers are continues from UnionVille Ct at "0" miles and Pointe Grove Rd. at "25" mile marker. There are prsently no marker north of the 25th. The Best part of the is a Icecream/Sandwich shop at the Congamond Rd Crossing.
The second layer of tar is down to the Westfield line now. There is still some landscaping to do and the trail is not officially open yet. I ride this section only on week ends when they are not working. the big problem is parking and right now until some arrangements can be made the only parking is on rt.168 and it is full on week ends and people are using a dirt section most of the time. My understanding is that Westfield will start in 2011 on the first of three stages at the Southwick town line if the money can be found. But that said it is only about 200 yards to Shaker Farms road and you can only park about 2 cars here.
Rode from Farmington up to Mass today (7/22/10), and was surprised to discover the trail was paved all the way to the Westfield line near Shaker Rd. The last few miles were not 'officially' open, but the first layer of asphalt was done and the road crossings graded. I hope Westfield continues the work to the Westfield River (it's ultimate destination) soon.
It has been less than 3 weeks since the Depot Road to Feeding Hills Road section was blacktopped and while riding this trail last night I saw that the next section north of Feeding Hills Road has also been completed. This adds another completed mile to the Southwick Trail and although there is no street sign where the blacktopped trail ends it has to be Sam West Road based on the map. The paved portion of the Southwick Trail now runs 5.3 miles from the CT state line where it connects with the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, and the actual paved end point of this trail is now almost 2.25 miles beyond what is showing on the current Rails to Trails map.
Paving is complete now from the old end point at the tunnel under Point Grove Road northbound for about 1.15 miles to Feeding Hills Road. (Rt. 57) The paved portion of the Southwick trail is now 4.28 miles long from the CT border where it connects with the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
It is now about a 15 mile one way trip on fully paved mostly empty trail with minimal traffic at road intersections from the center of Simsbury, CT to the current end point at Feeding Hills Road.
The Farmington Canal Heritage trail goes another uninterrupted 15 miles south from the center of Simsbury to the Rt.4 parking lot in Farmington, CT. A total of 30 miles one way now from Farmington to Feeding Hills Road in Southwick on fully paved trail that is about 98% off road bike path.
The first stage was dedicated on May 3rd this year and is really a nice bike ride. Even before it was dedicated there was a lot of use by all. This trail actually starts at the Conn. Line and extends North for 3 miles and is tarred to the tunnel at Point Grove Rd. This is stage one of two stages in Southwick. The second stage is being worked on and could be done and tarred by August of 2010. The only parking at this time is at about the middle of the current 3 miles in Mass. and is at the south end of Congamond pond on Rt.168 or Congamond rd. But there is a lot of good parking here, with several places to rest and eat. At the Conn./Mass. line it is a short distance south to some parking on Quarry road in some tobacco fields. There has been some vandalism of cars here so be careful what you leave in view if you park. At the north end of the tarred trail at Point Grove Road the trail goes under the road in a new tunnel and you have to go north on dirt for about 1/2 mile to Depot rd. to find parking. When finished in southwick it will be over 6 miles and connect with the Farmington Canal Rail Trail to the south (22.5 miles into Conn.) and into Westfield on the Columbia Bikeway for an additional 3 miles which could be done in 2015 and is scheduled to start in 2011 at this time.
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