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 story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…