Riverfront Trail Construction Update

The summer edition of GBLC's Field Notes Newsletter is now available to read online. The newsletter highlights how the GBLC team is tackling invasives at the Ladd Property and introduces Pfeiffer Arboretum's new leader. Below is an update about the construction progress on Riverfront Trail.


Final construction of Riverfront Trail is currently underway. It will feature river viewing areas, informational signs that note important local historical and natural features, and a 20-foot long footbridge. Peter S. Jensen & Associates, LLC has cleared the trail terminus and pathway on the Brookside Road segment of Riverfront Trail. Construction of the footbridge has begun.


Riverfront Trail map
Click here to see the full map.


Once completed, the trail will provide access to cherished natural areas and a new walkable route near town. Visitors to GBLC’s Housatonic River Walk will be able to continue their journey southward down a five-foot wide crushed stone pathway from Bridge Street through Olympian Meadows. The trail later continues as a six-foot wide pathway from Brookside Road to the Fairgrounds boundary which will accommodate assistive devices.


Riverfront Trail river


As we cleared the area of bittersweet vine and other invasive plants, we could already see birds setting up new perches and deer crossing the river. The finished trail will have exciting views of the Housatonic River with opportunities for outdoor recreation, education, and birdwatching. GBLC members will be able to view the trail at a special event prior to the public opening this fall (to be announced).


Riverfront trail cut de sac
Riverfront Trail cul-de-sac off of Brookside Road.


Two wooden benches with custom engraved plaques will be available to adopt on the Riverfront Trail near Brookside Road. These benches, which will be enjoyed and used by visitors, will be installed at two special locations selected by trail designer Peter Jensen: a wildlife viewing area overlooking a bend in the river and a shaded trail terminus with a mountain view on the Brookside Road segment of the trail. You may honor a loved one in your life by making a gift that will last for years to come. Contact info@GBLand.org to learn more about how to dedicate a bench to someone special.

Envisioned by GBLC and local planners for several decades, this new trail has been made possible through the generous permission of the property owners, The Great Barrington Youth Foundation, The Town of Great Barrington, the John Dewey Academy, Lido Property, LLC, and Bostwick Gardens. Funding was provided by the Community Preservation Act program, the Recreational Trails Program of Massachusetts, the Fields Pond Foundation of Waltham, and many private donors.


Riverfront Trail river