104 miles-----connecting 24 communities -----Boston to Northampton
Golden Spike 2018
Union Station Northampton, MA
Hi, Friends and Rail Trail Advocates,
On Saturday November 4th, at the Mass Trail Conference in Leominster, I mentioned to Colleen Abrams [of Wachusett Greenways section of the MCRT]--and to Jim Cassidy [of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail] on the phone last week--that since it has been a while since we’ve had a Golden Spike event. I thought it would fun and timely to have another one.
The most recent ones we did were in 2014 in Clinton, MA, for the E-W Mass Central Rail Trail and one in Simsbury, CT for the N-S-oriented New Haven to Northampton corridor, best known in CT as the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
I’m proposing that we do a conference at Northampton’s Union Station, which has a beautiful ballroom and banquet facility that holds up to 160 people. The location has special meaning, too. since is located at 0.0 miles—the starting point for the line that goes all the way to Boston’s North Station. And it is the technical terminus of the old New Haven RR’s Canal Division line to Northampton.
The location is at the junction of the longest interstate trail developing in the Northeast with the longest developing rail trail in Massachusetts.
The date will be on Saturday, July 28, for the event at Union Station, with plenary events and a luncheon from 8:30 to 1:30 with guided tours [both walking or biking] later that afternoon focused on various aspects that are interesting about both trails in Northampton and nearby communities. We can also have a tour of the newly completed “Complete Street” in downtown Northampton. And another guided walking tour of the history of the Mill River, and perhaps a biking and walking tour that takes in the Abolitionist History of Florence--a genuine, intact Civil War-era industrial village, which today also hosts one of the earliest municipally built rail trails in Massachusetts.
We can have people arrive on Friday the 27th and have some guided bike tours take place that day for extended tours, along with an evening gathering at Northampton Brewery, which is the first craft brewery operation in New England. I think this is their 30th anniversary.
We can arrange for attendees to have rooms at nearby hotels with some discount, perhaps.