Spring cycling just got a little bit better on the SouthCoast with extended designated bike paths connecting Fairhaven and Mattapoisett Village.

Want to ride this spring and summer? You've got even farther to go on paths made just for cyclists with a beautiful wooden bridge added to the Mattapoisett Rail Trail.

This long awaited Phase 1B section of the 4.5-mile bike path suffered some construction delays in 2022, but is finally open to those who want a scenic bike ride or walk by the water as the weather warms up.

The new addition to the trail is a beautiful new mile of pathway that takes riders on a scenic trip over the Mattapoisett River estuary, salt marshes and Reservation Beach at the head of Mattapoisett Harbor

Representative Bill Straus shared photos of the new bridge and noted that the work was a "30-year effort." He added that work on this pathway isn't done either, saying the plan is also to connect the path into Marion.

All of the local paths are part of a massive East Coast Greenway trail that can have you biking from the Canadian border in Maine down to the tip of Key West in the Florida Keys.

A long trip for sure, but something of a bucket list quest for many avid bikers.

Sadly, much of that trip still means biking on main roads and some spots are even designated "high-stress" stretches due to busy traffic conditions.

Hopefully, more states follow Massachusetts' lead in adding longer stretches of designated bike path to make the trip easier for those who love to ride.

For those on the SouthCoast looking for longer trips by bike, Cape Cod is definitely the best area around. There are 23 miles of bike-only pathway from Falmouth to Woods Hole known as Shining Sea Bikeway.

The new Fairhaven to Mattapoisett connection adds mileage to the SouthCoast section of trail, but with only 4.5 miles of Mattapoisett Rail Trail, we're still a long way off from that 23-mile mark.

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