This trail was great. I rode from Northampton (Damon Road trail head) to Amherst's town center--about 14 miles round-trip. (The trail connects to an on road bike lane that gets you the final 1/3 mile to town, where there were great places to grab dinner.) lots of friendly people on the trail. I really enjoyed the mile markers and signage with distances. The real stunner is the old rail bridge over the Connecticut River! :) i look forward to coming back.
We are visiting Amherst, so I was looking for unpaved trail to run and found plenty of well marked trials. Most were flat and wide enabling the runner to get to pace, although some were deer paths most were 6-8feet wide. I ran blue, red / white trail onto red. I also ran a linear trail that reminded me of an old carriage road, it was quite wide and flat with gentle slope that led to pond, it was not marketed separately and tan about 1 mile . All in all I had good experience.
Awesome trail. Excellent scenery and nice to not have to worry about automobiles.
Belchertown start is a little rough on road bikes, but the new pavement that starts in Amherst is beautiful.
Have yet to go further than Northampton but will very soon.
The Norwottuck Rail Trail is just full of awesome! You can start in Belchertown and ride uninterrupted all the way to Easthampton. The ride is fairly easy, the only hill is at West Street in Amherst (Rt. 116). The trail goes through wetlands, swamps, sweeping fields, wonderful farm lands. There are excellent vistas at many points.
The eventual plan is to incorporate the Norwottuck Rail Trail into the Massachusetts Central Rail Trail, which eventually will stretch all the way to Boston.