Just in time for near peak leaf-peeping, the northern section of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail will reopen Friday to welcome the return of bikers and pedestrians for the Columbus Day weekend.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has completed repaving the upper half of the trail. The southern section was upgraded this spring. MassDOT said in a news release that the entire 12.7-mile trail will be reopen by 5 p.m. Friday.
The northern portion from Church Street in Cheshire to Hoosac Street in Adams, next to the Adams Visitors Center, had been closed since June 29. The southern part that starts off Route 8 near the Berkshire Mall was blocked off from March 23 through June 27 for trail improvements.
The two-phase, $3.2 million project involved Pittsfield contractor J.H. Maxymillian resurfacing and reconstructing 10.8 miles of the 12.7-mile trail in Adams, Cheshire and Lanesborough.
The process included micro-milling and resurfacing of the existing trail, tree removal, replacement of existing pedestrian signal heads and other miscellaneous work.
While the project is substantially complete, Maxymillian will have some peripheral work to finish through May.
The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is an old railroad track converted into a 10-foot-wide trail with spectacular views of the mountains to the west, including Mount Greylock. The trail also traverses along the Cheshire Reservoir and the Hoosac River.