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Drive the Mohawk Trail on April 24, 2004

Old 02-25-2004, 08:03 PM
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Lets drive the Mohawk Trail! Come on, its a curvey sixty plus mile drive.




Region: Berkshire Mountains in northwest Massachusetts
Length: Approximately 65 miles
Features: Gentle mountain scenery, historic towns, forested state parks
Side Activities: Hiking, fishing, swimming, skiing, camping, historical exploration

The trail began life as a Native American footpath across the Berkshires, used for trade, hunting, and social calling by five tribes, including the Pocumtuck and the Mohawk. After the colonization, the trail was successively widened and repaved, and its route altered to accomodate changing modes of transportation. All the stages of the region's economic life are represented: wild forests and mountains, colonial trading and farming villages, 19th century manufacturing towns, and the 20th century retrofitted rust belt.

In 1914, at the dawn of the automobile age, the Mohawk Trail was declared a scenic route, the first such one. There are many other firsts about this route, many of which we've noted below.

On your way to Greenfield, the starting point, you'll probably pass throuth either the town of Gill or Turner Falls. Both are classic New England villages. Gill is near Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center, which is on land owned and operated by Northeast Utilities. Northfield features 25 miles of hiking trails, including a portion of the Mohawk Trail footpath, and Barton Cove, which has campgrounds, canoe rentals, and a full program of exhibits, workshops and tours.

Turner Falls is the the site of the first dam built on the Connecticut River. The town's namesake waterfall is impressive, definitely worth a stop. The elaborate Our Lady of Czestochowa Roman Catholic Church deserves a peak in; it was built by the local Polish immigrant community in honor of a black Madonna image from their homeland.

Greenfield is the location of the country's first cutlery factory. The town is the offspring of Deerfield, which is just south on U.S. Highway 5. However, Greenfield outgrew its progenitor. In the American way, economic growth meant restless razing and rebuilding, while Deerfield became the obstinate, unchanging elder. Surrounded by 6,000 acres of preserved farmland, Deerfield is considered the best preserved colonial village in New England. Historic Deerfield features a museum complex of fourteen intricatately detailed 18th & 19th century houses along a mile long street. Despite the people running around in period costumes, Deerfield is an fascinating must-see that you could spend days exploring.

Back on the trail, Shelburne is the place where the first Yale locks were manufactured. Be on the lookout for a church with a white steeple. You've probably seen it many times before in pictures of New England; it's considered the standard. Near here is the Little Mohawk Road, which will take you to the Patten District with spectacular views. You'll find good hikes around Mt. Massamet, High Ledges and Wilcox Hollow.

Shelburne is perhaps best known for the Bridge of Flowers, which is actually in the hamlet of Shelburne Falls. In 1929 some enterprising local gardeners decided the town's abandoned trolley bridge (by this time the Age of the Auto is well under way) could use some dressing up. Today, 500 species of flowers bloom from spring to fall. Down-river, glacial potholes in the smooth bedrock make for popular sunning and swimming spots during the summer.

MA 112 is a pleasant turnoff into apple orchard country. Colrain, to the north, boasts the first school to fly the American flag. Today it also boasts the award-winning North River Winery. Catamount State Forest is hidden away near here
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Old 04-11-2004, 05:48 PM
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Here's some scouting pics:

Here is Historic Deerfield. More then enough space in the visiters center lot.


Here are some mini dragon pics



Heres a summit pic. Boy it was cold up there.


Heres the hairpin turn. Not much to see but be carefull its a long way down.

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Old 04-11-2004, 05:53 PM
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FYI - It took me about 2hrs to get up there, so I hope you all mapquest the destinations to get a feel for the duration of the trip there.

9:30am Morning Destination for the NE folks:
Historic Deerfield
Address: Old Main Street (off Rts. 5 and 10)
Deerfield, MA 01342
Phone: (413) 774-5581
http://www.historic-deerfield.org/

12:00pm Noon Meet Destination for all traveling folks:
Mohawk Trail State Forest
Street: 503 RT-2/MOHAWK TRL
Charlemont, MA
413 339-5504

Mohawk Trail State Forest is located in the northern part of western Massachusetts.
From the east:
Follow Rte. 2 west to the western end of Charlemont. The park is on the right, four miles west of Charlemont Center.
From the west: Rte. 2 east to Charlemont. The park will be on the left at the bottom of a steep grade.

HERE IS THE ROUTE OUTLINED:


Also make sure to bring a fleece or sweater up with you. At some points of the Mohawk trail you are up on some summits where I swear the temp. dropped at least 10 degrees.

And like I stated earlier the Mohawk Trail State Forest is not fully operational so it would be smart of us to be as self sufficient as possible. Also I recommend toting a few folding chairs such as:

found at sports authority - http://www.thesportsauthority.com/product/...dy_bestsell_txt

Some Statistics:

23 confirmed participants (13 to meet at Historic Deerfield, 10 additional to meet at Mohawk state forest)

Most representative year: 2002 at 8
Most representative color: tie: Spa Yellow - New Formula Red at 5
Most representative state: tie: New York - Mass at 7

7 folks needing a hotel. Speaking of Hotel. I went to look at the Holiday Inn in N. Adams. The place looks nice and easy to get too...
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Old 04-14-2004, 08:05 AM
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Though I probably wont be able to stay overnight, I'm going to try and be there.

KIRK
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Old 04-14-2004, 08:52 AM
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Written on Monday, 4/19/04:

Sorry I couldn't make it folks -- freak incident happened yesterday on the way back from the Dragon. We were about 7 cars in a row passing through Pa. - I was the third from the front. About a 6' long section of a trucks's retread came off the truck just in front of turbo-PWR'S car. He saw it coming and swerved to avoid it. Heyitsgary was right behind him and ran it over. I was next in line, and a chunk of the tire tread headed for the right side of my windshield (airborne) while the rest of the tire tread was in the left part of my lane, sort of writhing like a big snake (still moving after Gary ran it over). There really was not time to do anything, and if there was I don't think I could have swerved far enough to avoid the things coming at the right and left side of my car at once.

The chunk of tire hit my right mirror, and I felt the left side of my car run over the remainder of the tire tread.It sounded like it hit right under where I was sitting. A few minutes later someone in the group said (over the FRS radio) "hey what's on your bumper" and at that point I knew I had damage.

So the left side of the bumper, which had just been newly painted and installed last week was damaged (paint cracked and knocked off, a screw ripped through its screwhole underneath, and some of the underside black plastic pieces deformed); tire tread rubber marks got on the left rocker panel (which had just been repaired three weeks ago) ; and the clearcoat on the housing of the right mirror was scratched.

I took off the bumper and brought it to the body shop today; we will see how it comes out

Sounds like a great event !! Have fun ... I will be putting my baby back together again on Saturday (the clips I ordered from Honda will not be in till Friday and even though the bumper will be painted by Weds., I want to let it sit a few days to let the paint harden before I use the car).

Eliot
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Old 04-14-2004, 08:56 AM
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Wow, thats gonna be a drive. Elliot your doing the casino for the wine drive to, eh?
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:26 PM
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I wish I can go....
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:06 PM
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George a aplaude you for the work you have done here, exseptional
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:42 AM
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My folks are now coming through town on Saturday so I am unfortunately hosed.

Looks like it will be a great drive. Enjoy and be safe everyone.
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:45 AM
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Any SE Mass people plan on meeting up first? I wanna tag along with atleast one other s2k
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