Rail-Trail an Asset for Eco-Tourism in the Berkshires

Posted 02/21/13 by Jake Lynch in Trail Use, America's Trails | Tagged with Massachusetts, Tourism and Economic Stimulus, Wild and Wonderful

Photo © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

We see it more and more these days - rail-trails as economic development assets. Cities and towns across America are developing rail-trail networks in order to make their area more attractive, drawing new residents and businesses and providing an environment where people want to live.

We are also seeing entrepreneurs finding business opportunities connected to destination rail-trails - lodging, services and other operations are launching next to rail-trails from Maine to California.

Like this one: Paolo Cugnasca, CEO of Feronia Forests is planning to invest about $1.5 million in building an aerial adventure park in Berkshire County, Mass., where the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail attracts thousands of visitors a year. According to the Boston Business Journal, the New York-based company plans on developing an eco-tourism attraction on Brodie Mountain, that was home to a ski resort until 2002.

Nestled in the Hoosic River Valley in Berkshire County, the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail takes its name from a Native American word meaning "the pleasant river between the hills." Amazing views of the mountains, lakes and river, and well-developed rest areas and amenities, have made the trail one of the Berkshire's most population draws.

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