Walk the World Famous Bridge of Flowers
When the trolley bridge was discontinued in 1928, it became an eyesore. Women of the town looked at it and thought it could grow flowers just as well as weeds. The Shelburne Falls Women’s Club took over management and maintenance of the plantings, and a subcommittee oversees it to this day. Eighty loads of loam and several loads of fertilizer were spread over the Bridge, and the first flowers were planted in 1929.
Today, the Bridge of Flowers is a perfect example of a mixed border, with flowering trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, bulbs and annuals that keep the Bridge in glorious bloom from April 1 to October 30. They are cared for by the volunteer Blossom Brigade. Every year, tens of thousands of visitors from as far away as China come to admire the Bridge and take away happy memories of a small rural town with a great beauty at its heart.
See the Glacial Potholes
The "Glacial Potholes" began to form after the last glacier age when the Deerfield River first started to flow over these rocks, about 14,000 years ago. The formation of these river-eroded features thanks to the great glacial lake, Lake Hitchcock, that filled the Connecticut Valley and also extended into the lower Deerfield Valley. While Shelburne Falls was not under Lake Hitchcock, it was under the sediments of the Deerfield River that built a delta into the lake. Lake Hitchcock drained by 14,000 years ago. The Deerfield River was then able to cut downward into its delta sediments. During this erosive process, which continues today, the river found itself on top of the gneiss bedrock and could start eroding holes in the hard gneiss.
Experience the Deerfield River
From Stratton Mountain in Southern Vermont to Greenfield in Massachusetts, the Deerfield River watershed typifies rural New England at its best. Our rugged topography boasts spectacular scenic settings and exciting recreational opportunities.
This topography has also attracted large electric utilities and their accompanying dams: we have ten hydroelectric developments on the mainstem, some built as far back as 1911.
One of the coldest and cleanest rivers in the region, the Deerfield River is home to native and stocked trout and is the site for Atlantic salmon restoration.
Travel the Mohawk Trail
The Mohawk Trail opened in 1914 as one of the first auto-touring roads in the country. This 69-mile scenic byway meanders through deep forest and historic towns, passing world-class art museums, early 20th-century tourist destinations, scenic hikes and dramatic vistas, all the while crisscrossing and paralleling five major rivers—the Millers, Connecticut, Green, Deerfield, and Hoosic. The byway’s origins date back more than 10,000 years, when Native Americans first began hunting and trading via footpaths along the rivers. But the road as we know it took shape in the early 20th century when it became the state’s first designated scenic autoroute. Several Native American–themed souvenir shops, tourist cottages and restaurants from the era are still open today. Hikers can travel 34 miles along the re-created Mahican-Mohawk Trail on rail trails, woodland paths and rural roads.
Ride Trolley #10
The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is dedicated to preserving and operating Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway trolley car No. 10. This car was built by Wason Manufacturing Co. in Springfield MA in 1896. It was delivered new to Shelburne Falls and has never left the valley. For thirty years it served its namesake towns. For twenty years it crossed the Deerfield River on what is now the famous Bridge of Flowers. Saved by a local farmer, it spent sixty-five years as a chicken coop, tool shed and play house. Now, through the efforts of the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, you can ride it in the same freight yard where it used to load and unload passengers, apples, mail, milk and other freight, one hundred years ago. For more info, visit the website.
Discover the Western Mass Scenic Byways
Tour the scenic byways of Western Massachusetts. Find adventure at every turn—outdoor recreation, breathtaking views, world-class art and American history on seven designated scenic byways.
View the Shelburne Falls Mosaic Mural Project
In June 2009, mosaic artist, Cynthia Fisher had an idea stemming from her desire to create public art that could be enjoyed where she lived. In laying the groundwork for the project, she enlisted the support and involvement of school officials, teachers, community leaders, and building owners. The venture first gained the support of town selectpersons and business leaders. The educational aspects of the project were very important to Fisher. She did extensive research on the history of our local area and involved third grade students in the local school district that had a curriculum unit on their local area, and in doing so the task of deciding content for the 10 hill town mosaics was theirs.
Tour Historic Deerfield
Spend a day in old New England. Visit Historic Deerfield, an authentic 18th-century New England village in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts. Tour beautifully restored museum houses with period architecture and furnishings. See yankee ingenuity at work in demonstrations of colonial-era trades. And explore our world-famous collection of early American crafts, ceramics, furniture, textiles and metalwork. It’s a celebration of New England heritage.
Relax at Magic Wings
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens consists of an 18,400-square foot facility that includes a 8,000-sq. ft. glass conservatory filled with butterflies, moths and tropical vegetation. The sun shines through the glass walls and heats up the conservatory to an 80-degree tropical-like environment all year round with hundreds of butterflies fluttering freely through the air creating a tranquil and serene atmosphere.