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

The Smithtown Bull in Smithtown, New York

  Before I moved to Upstate New York as a young man, I grew up in the Long Island town of Smithtown during the 1980s and 1990s. The recognizable symbol of Smithtown is a bronze statue of a bull named Whisper, located at the junction of NY Route 25 and NY Route 25A near the bridge over the Nissequogue River. Why a bull, you may ask. The bull is a symbol of a legend related to the town's founding in 1665 by Richard "Bull" Smythe, with a modernized name of Richard Smith. It also so happens that there is a story behind the legend, one that involves ancient land right transfers and some modern day roads as well. So the story goes that Smythe made an agreement with a local Indian tribe where Smythe could keep whatever land he circled around in a day's time riding atop his trusty bull. Choosing the longest day of the year for his ride, he set out with his bull Whisper and went about riding around the borders of the Town of Smithtown. As legend has it, Smythe t

Niagara Falls

  Arguably the world's most famous waterfall, or rather a set of waterfalls, Niagara Falls may not need much of an introduction, as it is a very popular tourist attraction in both New York State and the Province of Ontario, a destination of plenty of honeymooning couples, vacationing families and college students out for a good time for a weekend. Niagara Falls is also the site of many daredevil activities over the years, such as tightrope walking and going over the falls in a barrel. It is always nice to have a bit of a refresher, of course. Niagara Falls is made up of two main waterfalls, American Falls (also known as Rainbow Falls), which is on the American side of the border and Horseshoe Falls (also known as Canadian Falls), where the border between the United States and Canada crosses. There is also a smaller waterfall on the New York side of the border, which is Bridal Veil Falls. The height of the waterfalls are impressive, with Horseshoe Falls measuring at

Erie Canal: Little Falls and Moss Island

  Little Falls, New York is a small city in the Mohawk Valley that has been shaped by the forces of water throughout its history. Nowhere in Little Falls is that more evident than at Moss Island. Representing the Industrial Age, this is home of Lock 17 the tallest lock along the Erie Canal, but there is also evidence of the Ice Age in the form of 40 foot deep glacial potholes from when there was an ancient waterfall that was even larger than Niagara Falls at this spot, once draining Glacial Lake Iroquois when other outlets (such as the St. Lawrence River) were blocked by retreating glaciers. While Little Falls does not have the amount of industry around the river and canal than it once had, checking out what Moss Island has to offer is a great way to see what the city has to offer. Visiting Moss Island allows you to experience the engineering marvel that is the Erie Canal plus the wonders of nature by taking a hike around the island and seeing the glacial potholes. A