Begin your day in Shelburne Falls, a village spanning the towns of
Shelburne and Buckland. Shelburne Falls has no traffic lights but
boasts two bridges, one for traffic and one for flowers –
The Bridge of
. It’s maintained by volunteers who create an
ever-blooming garden of flowers, bushes and trees. This tiny
village has a lot you can explore and is home to many restaurants,
shops and artisans (check out the Shelburne Arts Co-op
sure to look for the giant glacial potholes adjacent to the
Deerfield River. The Memorial Hall
is home to Pothole Pictures that shows classic, foreign
and independent films plus the HD Live Metropolitan Opera. Close by
is the Lamson & Goodnow Factory Outlet
, a resource for
American-made cutlery & kitchen tools.
Here in the western end of the Mohawk Trail
where it reaches the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers you leave
Route 2 and head south along Routes 5 & 10 out of Greenfield.
There are places here that historically reach back to very early
settlements in America and where a host of battles took place
between natives and settlers.
To get a real overview of the area, drive into downtown Greenfield
and find the Poet’s Seat Tower
. There are bright blue
signs directing you from downtown on Route 2A going east. From
there you can see the flat valley and the land of the pioneers who
came here in 1677. Back in the center of Greenfield find Routes 5
& 10 and head south to Historic Deerfield
are 11 museum houses to tour filled with world-class antiques and
detailing the heritage of this early American settlement. Memorial
Hall Museum in the village of Deerfield opened in 1880 as a
“direct memorial to the inhabitants of this valley, both
Indian and Puritan.” The Museum is also famous for its four
Craft Fairs: the Spring and Christmas ones are held at the
Exposition Grounds in Springfield but their Summer and Fall ones
are held in the Village of
. Eat lunch or have a drink at The Deerfield Inn
or make plans
to stay the night there.
Just south on Routes 5 & 10 don’t miss stopping in to
to taste their high-quality chocolates and candy which
they have been producing for over 50 years. They were featured on
the “Food Network” by Alexandra Guarnaschelli of The
Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Back on Routes 5 & 10 heading south, the next stop is Yankee Candle Village
, the home
store of Yankee Candle. Explore the Bavarian Christmas Village and
the Nutcracker Castle. See more history in the Candlemaking Museum.
As they say, “Come for the candles, stay for the
Head back up Routes 5 &10 and get to Turners Falls to visit the
Great Falls Discovery
to learn about the Connecticut River Watershed, its
plant and animal life. You can view the canal and river and even
visit watchable wildlife areas. Cross the bridge from Turners Falls
back to Route 2 and a short distance from there is the very popular
country drive-in, Wagon Wheel Restaurant. It has indoor and outdoor
seating and a menu that includes locally made ice cream, home-made
soups, fresh fish and grilled burgers.