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

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages