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Just two hours west of Boston on the pike, and you’ll run straight into the beautiful Connecticut River Valley in Western Mass. No matter the season, you’ll instantly fall in love with the scenery of the rolling hills, farmlands, lakes and rivers.
Take an easy day trip from the coast or spend a few days and enjoy everything this region has to offer to you and your little ones. During all seasons there is so much to see and do with your children in tow.
So make some memories and have a blast exploring the western side of the state. Here are a few favorite destinations that you and your kids will love.
Mt. Sugarloaf – South Deerfield
A paved road up makes this a great hike for kids or with the stroller. Enjoy incredible views of the CT River Valley and Holyoke Range. At the summit you’ll find a well-kept picnic area, grassy lawn and lookout tower. Great place to enjoy foliage views!
Norwottuck Rail Trail – Belchertown to Northampton
This 13-mile bike path passes through a variety of habitats and is full of wildlife and views of the Holyoke range. You’ll pass over the Connecticut River on a bridge just for bikes and pedestrians and make your way right into downtown Northampton.
Lake Wyola – Shutesbury
Lake Wyola is a state park with a nice beach and swimming area. In addition to the lake, enjoy miles of trails year-round for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.
Silvio Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge – Hadley
A handicap accessible nature trail that is perfect for stroller and kids. Enjoy boardwalks and gravel paths through a variety of habitats. The trail has lots of benches and spots to stop for lunch.
The Bridge of Flowers – Shelburne Falls
The Bridge of Flowers is a sight that is worth the trip! It’s nestled in an adorable town to walk around and explore while you’re up there. The drive up the Mohawk Trail to access Shelburne Falls is an activity in itself.
Springfield Museums – Springfield
Explore five museums under one admission ticket! The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, Springfield Science Museum and Museum of Springfield History will be most fun with the kids.
Yankee Candle Village – South Deerfield
The brand’s flagship store is so giant you’ll need a map! You will spend hours exploring this incredible store.
Mass MoCA – North Adams
See larger than life installations in this unique museum housed in a giant mill building. Kids will love the kidspace art studio and outdoor grounds.
Eric Carle Museum – Amherst
A must-stop for anyone with children. This museum, located on the Hampshire College campus, has a hands-on art studio for children, rotating exhibits that are interactive, a library, and gardens on the museum grounds to explore.
McCray’s Farm – South Hadley
This small farm is a great place to visit in summer or fall. Enjoy a free petting zoo and delicious treats in their bakery. During the fall pick your own pumpkins, go on a hayride, and get into the spirit of the season at McCray’s Farm (shown in feature photo).
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Go explore Western Mass
These ten places to visit only scratch the surface of what this unique region has to offer. You’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll find to enjoy along the way.
Alli is a blogger at Mom Smart Not Hard who lives in Western Mass with her family and three dogs. When not writing and being a mom, she enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors.