Publication Date


Committee Members

Frank Sleegers, Committee Chair Anne Wibiralske, Committee Member


This project could not have taken place without the assistance from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Department of Transportation in Northampton, Massachusetts in conjunction with their work on the Norwottuck Rail Trail Rehabilitation Project. The Rehabilitation Project was a great improvement to the existing rail trail and provided a strong base to build my ideas and project off of. Thank you to the Hadley Conservation Commission for use of their maps and surveys in the site analysis of this project. Thank you also to the Hadley Historic Commission for being a wonderful resource for of historic places and structures in the proximity of this project.


Applying these concepts to a person’s lifestyle can significantly improve the quality of that person’s life. Regular physical activity of the body and engagement of the mind have been irrefutably proven to decrease health problems and increase happiness. The goal of this project is to apply design suggestions for a 2.2 mile section of the Norwottuck Rail Trail including proposed amenities, improvements, and public art that support this wellness concept. The project site is in Hadley, Massachusetts. The Norwottuck Rail Trail (rail trail from here forward) has undergone significant improvements over the time span of 2013-2015. Improvements included repaving and widening the existing trail surface, enhancing road crossings, upgrading trail signage, improving parking and other amenities along the entire 10.6 miles of trail from Northampton to Amherst. This rail trail project seeks to provide a site design including non-invasive vegetative plantings and public art that engages all five senses. It will embrace the native landscape and history of the area, and encourage circuit loops off the main rail trail to provide alternative physical activity options for a wide range of users.