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 Petersburgh Pass on Mount Raimer. They surely didn't disappoint.

That's looking towards Massachusetts which 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 Tactonic State Park Trail. An elderly couple mentioned to me that there used to be a hotel and nightclub at the summit at one time also. Below, looking into New York towards Petersburgh.

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 jorney 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 east. 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

Altheaedna@aol.com 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

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …

Throwback Thursday - October 12, 2017

In this week's edition of Throwback Thursday, we travel back to December 2003 to the southern end of Interstate 99 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where we can see button copy guide signage for US 30 and US 220 (US 220 runs concurrent with I-99 through this part of the Keystone State). Since I-99 was relatively new at the time, it feels like it was an afterthought.