Amherst Awarded Grant to Extend Hickory Ridge Trail System 


Artist's conception of connector path to apartment complexes to the north of Hickory Ridge. Photo:


The Town of Amherst was one of 65 communities to be awarded a 2024 MassTrails Grant. The Town will receive $109,584.80 to support the development of a new accessible trail system at Hickory Ridge. 

The development of the trail system at Hickory Ridge has been an ongoing project that aims to connect nearby neighborhoods with services and restaurants as well as to increase recreation uses.  

The Town purchased the former Hickory Ridge Golf Course in March of 2022. The 150-acre site includes over a mile of frontage along the Fort River, areas of diverse habitat, and miles of existing cart paths. The acquisition gives the Town the opportunity to connect previously disconnected neighborhoods and Environmental Justice populations with each other and a growing village center to the east. 

The goals include habitat protection, passive recreation, neighborhood connectivity, solar energy production, and possible municipal uses and/or limited development along the road frontage.  

Map of proposed trails and bridge locations at Hickory Ridge. Photo:

The Town has been awarded numerous grants to construct a robust trail system at Hickory Ridge including a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for construction of a multi-use pedestrian trail connecting residents of the East Hadley Road neighborhoods to the Pomeroy Village Center, through Hickory Ridge. In February 2023, Amherst received a Parklands Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant for the Hickory Ridge Accessible Riverwalk Loop Trail. Funding from this 2024 MassTrails Grant will be used for the Hickory Ridge Accessible Trail Connection which will provide a critical trail connection between the two existing trails. 

“This ADA accessible trail system will feature six-foot wide crushed stone paths and will be fully accessible for people using wheelchairs,” said Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek. “We are grateful for the grants we have received to develop this trail system which will increase connectivity for many residents and provide additional opportunities to explore and appreciate Amherst’s natural environment.”

The development of the trail system at Hickory Ridge has already begun, and the Town anticipates that this project will be completed by October 2024.     

MassTrails Grants Program provides matching grants to communities, public entities, Native nations, and non-profit organizations to plan, design, create, and maintain the diverse network of trails, trail systems, and trails experiences used and enjoyed by Massachusetts residents and visitors. Applications are accepted annually for a variety of well-planned trail projects benefiting communities across the state. 

For more information about MassTrails Grants, including their press release about the 2024 recipients, visit:

For more information about Hickory Ridge, contact Conservation & Development at 413-259-3045 or visit:

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