RI-Region Bike Trails: Explore The Beauty On Two Wheels
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail
By Amy Krzanik
You’ve driven through miles and miles of stunning RI countryside, and have taken the train into our area along the picturesque Hudson River, but there’s a way to get even closer to the view and get your heart rate up, too. Tune up your bicycle (or rent one — links are included below) and don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the colors, as well as the bunnies, toads, turtles, deer and other animals you’ll meet on your ride. Although this article is focused on biking, most of these trails allow walking (including the walking of dogs), running, cross-country skiing, inline skating and even fishing. Check individual websites for parking and wheelchair accessibility information.
Hard to pronounce, but easy to love, the 11-mile paved Ashuwillticook Rail Trail extends from downtown Adams to the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough. Taking its name from the Native American word meaning “at the in-between pleasant river,” the trail passes by the Cheshire Reservoir and through its surrounding wetlands.
For mountain bikers, the area’s many state forests offer a plethora of options. These include Beartown in Monterey, October Mountain in Lee, Tolland State Forest in Otis, Savoy Mountain, Mt. Washington, Pittsfield State Forest, Windsor State Forest and Mt. Greylock State Reservation.
This Sunday, Sept. 25, join a group for a leisurely 19-mile Housatonic Heritage ride through Tyringham.
Harlem Valley Rail Trail photo by Caitlin O’Brien
You can catch the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in Hillsdale, Millerton or Wassaic and choose how much of its 15-plus miles to tackle. Still a work in progress, the trail, when completed, will span a total of 46 miles and end in Chatham.
Dutchess County Rail Trail photo by Fred Schaeffer
Forest lovers will find 20 miles of wooded trails in the 909-acre Taconic-Hereford Multiple Use Area located in Pleasant Valley.
Rent A Bike:
Leisure Ride Bike Rental in Poughkeepsie
Although short in length, clocking it at just 1.7 miles, the Railroad Ramble is long on beauty, passing through woodlands and wetlands on its way through Salisbury and Lakeville.
Railroad Ramble photo from Trail Link
A slightly longer trail, just shy of 3 miles, the Sue Grossman Still River Greenway is a paved trail that runs through Torrington and Winchester.
The Billings Trail, which runs through Canaan and Norfolk, is slightly over 3 miles and unpaved. You can choose to follow the length of it or use it to link up to the forest trails in Barbour Woods.
The Housatonic Covered Bridge Trail (Houbike Trail) links the Berkshires (Ashley Falls, Mass.) to Connecticut (New Milford) along the Housatonic River. Unlike the rail trails, the 45-mile Houbike runs along existing roads and is not recommended for beginning bikers.
Rent A Bike:
The Bicycle Tour Company in Kent