Hoosick Township Historical Society

The Hoosac Tunnel - Automobile Loop Tour

The Hoosac Tunnel was built 1852-1873 at a cost of $21,000,000. Nearly 200 lives were lost to this project over the 21 years of construction. The Tunnel is 5 miles long and cuts through the mountains known as the Hoosac Range east of the Berkshires in Massachusettes. For a brief time in history, it was the longest tunnel in the world.

I had always thought that the Hoosac Tunnel was somewhere near Hoosick but actually it is in North Adams. A few years ago, I set out to see if I could find the Tunnel entrance and along the way I found a 90 mile loop tour that follows three historic trails through New York, Vermont and Massachusetts. The eastern entrance to the Hoosac Tunnel is at the mid point of this loop and with many scenic and historic sites along the way, you can be assured of an interesting three hour tour. Whatever the season, the following route shows some of the best scenery that our area has to offer. The following is a turn by turn guide for this loop tour.

Map of the Route

Starting in Hoosick Falls, NY - take Route 22 North to North Hoosick and turn right in front of Delaney’s Hotel onto Route 67 East and proceed past the Bennington Battlefield, in Walloomsac, to North Bennington where you turn right onto Route 67A South to Bennington.

Picture of North Hoosick

Route 67A passes a restored covered bridge just past the Vermont Tissue Co. near the Bennington College entrance. Take a right just past the Ames store onto the exit marked Route 7 North follow the signs for Route 7 South to Bennington. On an early morning trip, an excellent cup of coffee can be found across from the Veterans Home at Mary’s Coffee Express. Continue on Route 7 South to the center of Bennington where you take a left at the four corners onto Route 9 East. Proceed along the Molly Stark Trail past Prospect Ski Area and take a right onto Route 8 South to Readsboro. Pass beneath the Searsburg Wind Power Facility with eleven 132 feet tall Wind turbines. Take Route 100 North to Readsboro. In Readsboro turn onto Tunnel Street, towards Rowe, Mass. This is narrow road and at one point is unpaved for a short distance but it does eventually cross the railroad tracks in front of the Hoosac Tunnel. Tunnel Street runs next to the Harriman Reservoir outlet and the Deerfield River where you may see kayak's and fishermen. There are many picnic areas along this road, the first is Sherman Picnic Area which is a short distance from the Yankee Nuclear Plant which is viewed from the road, next is the Dunbar Brook Trail Picnic Area and then the Bear Swamp Visitor Center. The eastern entrance to the Hoosac Tunnel is unmarked but it is accessible from a parking area near the railroad crossing. Look to your right, the tunnel entrance is about 100 yards off the road to the right at this crossing. You could drive past this spot very easily as the tunnel has no markings along the road. The picture of the entrance is quite old and shows two tracks, today there is only one.

Picture of the Hoosac Tunnel

Continue on Tunnel street until you see a sign for Route 2, take a right onto Whitcomb Hill Road and climb this winding road until you reach Route 2 West and proceed through the Whitcomb Summit along the Mohawk Trail. At the bottom of the hill, past the hairpin turn, take the first left onto West Shaft Road. At the end of West Shaft Road take a right onto Church Street and proceed until you see the Cider Mill on your right and Morrison Berkshire Inc. on your left. There is an unmarked dirt road on your right, just before the Cider Mill. This road leads to a trail to the western entrance to the Hoosac Tunnel.

Picture of Hoosac Tunnel

Continue on Church Street to Route 8A into North Adams and get back on Route 2 West which passes the entrance to the Mount Greylock Reservation. Continue on Route 2 past Williams College and take Route 7 South towards Pittsfield. Take a right onto Route 2 West towards Troy on the Taconic Trail to North Petersburg where you will take a right onto Route 22 North back to Hoosick Falls. This loop covers 90 miles and could be done in about three hours but an entire day could be spent with a few side trips along the way.

Picture of an old Car
Compiled for HoosickHistory by Gary Kjelgaard - May 2000.
Hoosac Tunnel and Old Car Photo provided by Judy Flynn
North Hoosick Photo provided by A.Ferrannini