Skip to main content

New England Road Trip Day 4 - Return to the Mohawk Trail

Back in October 2006, I took a vacation daytrip along the Mohawk Trail.  It was one of my favorite autumn drives.  So on our return trip back from Maine on our way to Schenectady, we took MA 2 and the Mohawk Trail, did some return visits to many of the attractions on the way, but also saw a few new items or two.

For the entire photo set from this trip, head over to flickr.

885

879

The French King Bridge over the Connecticut River pretty much marks the Eastern Terminus of the Mohawk Trail.  East of here MA 2 begins to transition into a freeway connecting to Boston.  West of here the road takes on a more rural and scenic drive.  The bridge has spanned over the Connecticut River since 1932. 

Our next stop was Shelburne Falls and the well known Bridge of Flowers.

906

Many shades of purple

924

The Bridge of Flowers is a concrete arch bridge that originally served as a trolley bridge over the Deerfield River.  Opened in 1909, the bridge carried freight and passengers for the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway for nearly 20 years until the railway company went bankrupt.  It was in 1928, when members of the local Women's Club, petitioned and fund raised to convert the old trolley bridge to an open air garden.

949

889

908

Shelburne Falls is actually the combination of the towns of Shelburne and Buckland which sit on opposite sides of the Deerfield River.  Both towns have a number of cafes, galleries, and other local businesses that keep the central areas very lively and full of local and nearby residents plus tourists from near and far.

946

952


We continue east on MA 2 to Charlemont and with a turn on Mass 8A North - we come across the Bissell Bridge.  When I first visited the bridge in February 2005, it was closed to traffic with a temporary bridge in place.  Seven years later, the Bissell Bridge, built in 1951 as the second covered bridge at this site, handled vehicular traffic once again.

984

A little further east, and where the Mohawk Trail begins to exit the Pioneer Valley, sits the Hail to the Sunrise Monument.  Honoring the tribes of the Five Nations, the statue has been a popular stop along the Mohawk Trail since 1932.

991

Further east, at Whitcomb Summit, sits the Elks Monument.  Dedicated in 1923, to honor members of the Elks Fraternal Order that served in World War I.  Whitcomb Summit sits at 2800 feet above sea level and the views are amazing!

992

Our final and maybe the most known segment and popular stop on the Mohawk Trail is the Hairpin Curve.

Looking towards the Hoosic Valley

The views of the Hoosic Valley are impressive year round, but most spectacularly in the fall.  The Golden Eagle Restaurant and Lounge is a popular spot - and is one of a number of buildings and attractions that has occupied the Hairpin Curve since the road first opened in 1914.

Golden Eagle Restaurant and Lounge

If you are ever in Massachusetts and want an alternative to driving the Mass Pike from Boston to Albany, I highly recommend the Mohawk Trail and all of MA 2.  It's certainly worth the extra time.






Comments

Jim said…
The garden bride is outstanding!
Jim said…
Er, garden *bridge*.

Popular posts from this blog

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Veterans Memorial Bridge (Gramercy, LA)

When we think of the greatest engineering achievements and the greatest bridges of North America, we tend to focus on those located in places familiar to us or those structures that serve the greatest roles in connecting the many peoples and cultures of our continent. Greatness can also be found in the places we least expect to find it and that 'greatness' can unfortunately be overlooked, due in large part to projects that are mostly inconsequential, if not wasteful, to the development and fortunes of the surrounding area. In the aftermath of the George Prince ferry disaster that claimed the lives of 78 people in October 1976 in nearby Luling, LA, the state of Louisiana began the process of gradually phasing out most of its prominent cross-river ferry services, a process that remains a work in progress today. While the Luling-Destrehan Ferry service was eliminated in 1983 upon completion of the nearby Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge, the ferry service at Gramercy, LA in rural St.

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which