North Berkshire & Mohawk Trail

Driving Tour # 2 (Approximately 53 miles )

09/20/2020

This scenic tour brings you north on Route 7 to The Mohawk Trail. Starting in Pittsfield, take Route  7 to Lanesboro,the birth place of humorist, Josh Billings, who is buried in the village cemetery. Continue north on Route 7 to South Williamstown, Historic Five Corners. Here several walking tours to historic houses are available. Following Route 7 to Williamstown you are now on Route 2, The Mohawk Trail, between Williamstown and Greenfield. Starting in Williamstown, which is the home of Williams College, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute,and Williams College Museum of Art, this “village beautiful” deserves a tour of its own. Enjoy its many fine shops, craft galleries, and eateries. Continue on Route 2, east to the City of North Adams, where you can visit the Western Gateway Heritage State Park, Natural Bridge State Park, MASS MoCA, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and the North Adams Fall Foliage Festival. Ascend the Hoosac Mountain Range to the Hairpin Turn with its vistas of Mt. Greylock, the Green Mountains and the Hoosac Valley. The trail then rises sharply to the Western Summit (called Spirit Mountain by Native Americans). Travel through the scenic town of Florida to the Whitcomb Summit, home of the Elk Memorial on the highest point of the Mohawk Trail at 2,200 feet. One quarter mile past the summit, Whitcomb Hill Road leads to the eastern portal of the Hoosac Tunnel. Follow this road back down to the Deerfield River. Take a left on River Road until it crosses the railroad tracks. Look here for the eastern portal of the Hoosac Tunnel engineered and completed in 1875 by blasting through five miles of sheer granite. Continue left on River Road to Bear Swamp Project and Visitor’s Center which has picnic facilities. Retrace River Road and cross the iron bridge over the Deerfield River until the junction of Route 2 at the Indian Bridge. Take a right and after a short distance view the famous “Hail to the Sunrise” Statue, a memorial to the Mohawk Native Americans, sponsored by The Improved Order of the Redman. Continue easterly on Route 2 to Charlemont. Mohawk Trail Concerts are held weekends in July at the acoustically perfect Charlemont Federated Church. Route 8A North hosts the 160 foot long Bissell Covered Bridge just 600 feet off Route 2. Continue easterly to Shelburne Falls, home of the Bridge of Flowers, an old arched trolley bridge transformed into a garden of flowers from spring to fall. Follow signs to Salmon Falls and view the Glacial Potholes located below Salmon Falls and carved out of rock during the ice age. Visit the museum located in the Arms Academy Building. Rejoin Route 2 and proceed to Greenfield, incorporated in 1753.  At the time, Greenfield was considered the northernmost frontier before the Canadian border. Visit the Poet’s Seat Tower, off High Street on Greenfield Mountain. Watch for signs. There is a superb view of the Greenfield Valley from here. Return to Main Street.

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