On Friday, October 8, we hear Mr Robert Madison talk about the New Haven to Northampton Canal.

After the success of the Erie Canal, which opened in 1825, people in several states were seized with the idea of building canals to transport goods. In 1804, Amherst businessmen had already built a short canal on the Connecticut River to circumvent South Hadley Falls, but in 1825 ground was broken on the 80-mile long New Haven to Northampton Canal. The canal was finished in 1835, but by 1848 it was getting competition from the new Connecticut River Railroad.

Author Bob Madison talks about his rails-to-trails book. The Canal Greenway takes the bicyclist or hiker on a historic trip through sixteen towns into the interior of Western New England – – from New Haven, CT to Northampton, MA. His rails-to-trails book is a comprehensive guide which includes trail maps, trailhead descriptions, original watercolor paintings by the author, attractions, distances and a little history of each of the sixteen towns along with the history of the canal and the railroad as the modern rail trail works its way along some 81 trail miles or 87 mile canal length.