We all know that the southern Berkshires is filled with natural beauty. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the vast options of exploring the nature and habitat that surrounds the area. Just take a peek in the winter, spring, summer & fall and you'll find folks exploring the outdoors and all the beauty the southern Berkshires have to offer. Of course whether you're a cyclist, pedestrian, hiker or explorer, you want your outdoor recreational activities including foot transportation to be injury free.

There's some good news for the Town of Great Barrington as a state grant of $137,310 is finalizing the town’s funding for construction of a shared-use recreational path along Stockbridge Road, which will close a gap in the Fountain Pond/Three Mile Hill hiking loop.

What this means is the planned off-road paved path (now called Old Route 7 Greenway) will connect the area near the Jenifer House Commons with the Community Health Programs campus, about a half-mile to the north on Route 7/Stockbridge Road.

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You wont have to fret about risking your neck because once complete, pedestrians, cyclists etc. will be able to travel safely between Berkshire South Regional Community Center and CHP, two locations where there are trailheads for the Fountain Pond/Three Mile Hill trail system. Until now, the trip required a walk along busy Stockbridge Road in the breakdown lane for anyone wishing to complete the loop.

Assistant Town Manager and Director of Planning and Community Development, Chris Rembold made the following statement:

Walking and biking areas do so much to improve our quality of life, so this is great news for the Stockbridge Road residents, businesses and visitors. Walking along the road there has been a scary prospect on that busy highway.

Rembold said the path will run along an old railroad bed, owned by the town. The project will cost a total of $517,000 with a combination of state funds, a grant from the Community Preservation Act and town funds.

According to a press release from the town, the state grant was part of a $2.8 million award from the state Department of Transportation’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program. Seventeen municipalities and two transit authorities are sharing the award.

Thanks to the state and other funding outlets, this section of Great Barrington will not only continue to thrive but now folks will have the stress of walking the highway taken off their shoulders. In these current times, stress is just about the last thing anyone needs and this construction project will be a slam dunk for everyone.

Photo courtesy town of Great Barrington. The yellow dotted line shows the new pathway.

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