Skip to main content

The Mohawk Trail and other parts of Western Mass.

On Tuesday the 10th, I headed out along the Mohawk Trail. For the first time in a long time, I headed east via NY 2. Two reasons, I hadn't done that in a month of Sundays and also because of the views at Petersburg Pass on Mount Raimer. They surely didn't disappoint.

That's looking towards Massachusetts with the NY/MA state line is just around that corner. At the summit of the pass, there is a large parking area for access to the Taconic Crest Trail. An elderly couple mentioned to me that there used to be a hotel and nightclub at the summit at one time. Below, looking into New York towards Petersburg.  There was also an old ski area here.

For some reason, I like to use vertical shots with a curving road that have a mountain backdrop. A personal preference nothing more. Your thoughts?

Now in Mass on Highway 2. I headed through the towns of Willamstown, home of Willams College, and North Adams. From North Adams the Mohawk Trail really begins and just east of town the famous hairpin turn sits. I found the position of this sign slightly interesting.

So does that mean the hairpin turn is outside of North Adams? That's MA 2 on both the left and right of the sign.

UPDATE: I later learned that the Hairpin Curve in fact IS outside of North Adams. The curve actually exists in Clarksburg, as shown here.

From the turn the Mohawk Trail continues its journey up the Berkshire Range. There are a few places to stop including, the Elks Monument (complete with a time capsule that is to be opened in 2023.), and a scenic view just east of that. One place that is worth pullover for some photography is at the Florida/Savoy town line as the Mohawk Trail nears the Pioneer Valley.
That's looking west on MA 2. The Mohawk Trail then heads into the fertile Pioneer Valley. Bordered by the Deerfield River, the Pioneer Valley is a contrast to the Berkshires to the west. At few spots, a number of fly fishermen were out wading the cold waters to make a catch. I did bring the tripod with me and set up this shot (among others):
The large raw image is even better, I wish blogspot would load it that size but oh well. From this point I headed into Shelburne Falls - short detour on MA 2A - I spent some time there checking out the Bridge of Flowers and the town. The Bridge of Flowers is a former trolley bridge - abandoned in 1928 - that has now turned into a pedestrian walkway that resembles a conservatory over the Deerfield River.

Shelburne Falls was full of amateur and professional photographers along the bridge and throughout the town. Many with much more sophisticated equipment than my Canon Power Shot Pro 1. But i spent some time watching from them and seeing what captured their eye and hopefully I'll learn from being around them. One of the things I did experiment with when I was in Shelburne Falls was the Super-Macro feature of my camera. Here are three of the better shots I took with it.


The photo with the monarch butterfly took a few attempts but I really like it the most.

From Shelburne Falls it was down to I-91 and then to MA 116 West as my return trip. MA 116 is a quieter drive than MA 2. It has just as spectacular scenery and also goes through the small towns of Conway and Ashfield.

If you have time to photograph in around Conway, you can easily spend a few hours with the library, the churches, and the Conway Covered Bridge. At the bridge, there was a gentleman who was doing a chalk drawing of a residence and a Catholic Church directly across from it. It was this artist who gave me the tip that turned out to be the best part of the trip. Just North of Conway is an old truss bridge on Bardwell Ferry Road. The bridge built in 1882 crosses the Deerfield River and just upstream is a great rail trestle over the river as well. You have to take a few rural backroads to get there, and it's on these roads where you can find everything they say about the scenery and the quiet settings of rural New England.



Now for the bridge and rail trestle. I could have spent the rest of the afternoon just enjoying the area around here.




In all, I took about 150 photos from this trip. And I did use the tripod. The MA 2 and MA 116 loop is definitely worth a day to get lost and explore!

Comments

Anonymous said…
I loved your article. Your pictures were absolutely great. I grew up in Shelburne Falls and now am amid the Savoy State Forest so I am very familiar with the area. I loved recalling your route. Thank you, Althea Maynard

Popular posts from this blog

Establishing the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates

The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 brought the Interstate Highway System into existence which would largely be constructed by Federal Highway Administration fund matching.  The Interstate Highway System was deliberately numbered to run opposite the established conventions of the US Route System.  While the Interstate Highway numbering conventions are now well established there was a period during the late 1950s where they were still being finalized.  This blog examines the history of the establishing of the chargeable Interstate Highway route numbers in California.  The above blog cover depicts the Interstate Highway route numbers requested by the Division of Highways in the Los Angeles area during November 1957.  The establishment of the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates The Interstate Highway System was not created in a vacuum by way of the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act.  The beginning of the Interstate Highway System can be found in the

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page Ridge Route corridor introdution The Ridge Route as originally envisioned was a segment of highway which was completed in 1915 between the northern Los Angeles city limit

The western end of US Route 6 and Laws Depot on the Carson & Colorado Railway

Back in June of 2016 I visited the western terminus of US Route 6 at US Route 395 located in Bishop, California of Inyo County on my way to Laws Depot. US 6 is one of the longest US Routes at 3,205 miles between Bishop, CA east to Provincetown, MA.  Historically US 6 was the longest US Route ever when it ended in Long Beach at 3,652 miles.  US 6 is known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway and is mostly known for traveling through some of the most rural corners of the Continental United States. The endpoint of US 6 expanded wildly westward during the early US Route era.  Below is a summary of endpoints for US 6 that are listed on USends.com: 1927-1931 -  Provincetown, MA west to Erie, PA 1932-1937 -  Provincetown, MA west to Greeley, CO 1937-1964 -  Provincetown, MA west to Long Beach, CA 1964-Present -  Provincetown, MA west to Bishop, CA US 6 was one of the routes heavily truncated during the 1964 California Highway Renumbering.  US 6 had a large mul