Skip to main content

Great River Ride 2024

GRR 2024

A Fundraiser for the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail Inc.

 The Great River Ride 2024 offers great routes, great scenery, great rest stops and  great post-ride gathering with entertainment. 


October 13, 2024

Register for the Great River Ride at The Great River Ride has been rated as "one of the best century rides in the USA" by Bicycling Magazine and the League of American Bicyclists. "Gorgeous but grueling" is Bicycling's description for what we believe is the most challenging century in New England. This is a must do event for any cyclist. Done it before? Come again, each year or two the route changes slightly offering new vistas and new challenges. Can't wait till October? Visit our Berkshire Brevet page for a series of Spring events.


For 2024 the Great River Ride  will be the major fundraiser for the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail.

Donate to FOCGRT  Here

Choose between four road rides; , 101 miles, 85 miles,62 miles,40 miles, a 72 mile gravel ride or a 28 mile Vineyard  Ride. You will encounter knee-popping hills, breathtaking views, awesome descents, and gorgeous fall foliage as you tour the hilltowns of the Eastern Berkshires. Add in miles of stone walls, waterfalls, plenty of New England white churches, loads of colonial homes, historic keystone arches, a wild and scenic river, and did I mention hills. But that's not all, we've got rest stops staffed with friendly cyclists and good food, including our famous "Baked Potato" stop on the gravel route as well as the 62, 85 and 108 mile route. 

The Westfield River, the Great River in the river ride, is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. The GRR long routes wander the course of this scenic river as well as portions of Historic Route 20 to give you a unique cycling experience. 

The GRR Gravel Route is a mix of pavement, gravel, dirt and seasonal roads that we’ve enjoyed fall riding on for over 50 years. The 72 mile route has several gravel/dirt sections for 40% of the total route.  The route will take you through the remote Knightville Basin and Chesterfield Gorge with stunning vistas along the East Branch of the Westfield River. You’ll pass through the Knightville Meadows, the Rainbow Pool, the Little Gorge and the Chesterfield Gorge on your ride.  Most climbs are paved but Thayer Rd. is a moderately difficult climb of 1.4 miles on dirt ranging from 10% to 7%.  A long descent to River Rd. follows a seasonal road with some steep downgrades. The final gravel climb up Maynard Rd. has grades up to 18%. Be prepared to handle mechanical problems, and flats, cell phone coverage is limited..  Several miles of the route follows a gated road closed to motor vehicles. Tire widths of 38mm or wider are recommended.  Fallen leaves will hide loose and bony surfaces, so caution on descents is advised.

The 28 mile Vineyard Ride and the 40mile road ride utilizes the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail  and the New Haven/Northampton Canal Trail to visit the Brignole Vineyard for a snack stop (wine will be available for purchase).


The GRR is a recreational ride on hilly and winding roads. Riders of all ages and abilities are welcome.

34 x 28 is recommended but strong cyclists will find a 39 x 23 adequate.

2024 Cue and GPS files will be sent to all riders the week of the ride.

Ride elevations

GRR Century 102 miles · +8,090 ft / -8,090 ft

GRR 85    85.9 miles · +6,520 ft / -6,519 ft

GRR Metric   64.7 miles · +4,862 ft / -4,861 ft

GRR Gravel   72.7 miles · +5,575 ft / -5,572 ft


GRR 40 mile  41.4 miles · +2,046 ft / -2,045 ft

GRR Wine Ride  2023 28.5 miles · +1,018 ft / -1,017 ft

GRR 200K

benefits the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail

GRR on-line registration   



Sons of Erin , William St., Westfield, MA

Directions to the GRR start:
From the Mass. Pike I - 90, Take exit 41 formerly exit 3, Right on to Rte. 202/10 South for 2 miles, immediately over Great River Bridge take a Left on to Meadow St., 0.4 miles Left into Sons of Erin Parking.,-72.73955,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x5d1a507a0806c388