Getting dirty in Western Mass
Gravel riding in Western Massachusetts is truly something to be experienced. I first rode this route as part of the 2019 Massochista bike ride. The Ashfield-Hawley loop starts and ends in the quaint hilltown village of Ashfield, a town nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire
Mountains surrounded by forests and gravel roads. Comprised mostly of gravel, the route loops up into Hawley and it’s spacious farms and backroads before descending Buckland. You’ll gain about 3000 feet in elevation before riding back into Ashfield.
What to expect
Plan on riding for two to three hours and climbing roughly 3000 feet. This is
beautiful country but there are not many places to fill up or resupply at. It is advisable to bring enough water for the duration of the ride as well as snacks and any energy supplements you wish. After the ride and if Elmers restaurant is open, we’ll step back in time into a 150 year old building for a drink or sandwich.
Western Massachusetts is a cycling mecca, with numerous backroads and byways that get you off the beaten track. The Ashfield-Hawly loop is sure to be a great introduction to local gravel rides.