Literary Landscapes of Pioneer Valley

Franklin County

Deerfield - Historic Deerfield The 329-year-old town of Deerfield rests amidst 1000 acres of farmland, all designated as a National Historic Landmark. Libraries, schools, churches, museums, a working country Inn as well as currently occupied residences and 14 museum homes make this a community as picturesque as any in New England. This is a town with a vibrant past, present and future.

South Deerfield - Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation
This is the place "the locals" bring their visiting friends and family, for there is no better place from which to view the Pioneer Valley and surrounding hills. On a crisp autumn day, one can see as far as Hartford, CT, to the south and Mt. Greylock to the northwest. Drive to the top and have a picnic or break out your camera to capture the view from the tower.



Shelburne Falls - Bridge of Flowers Spanning the Deerfield River between the villages of Shelburne Falls and Buckland is the Bridge of Flowers. Since 1929 the Shelburne Falls Women's Club has planted and cultivated over 500 varieties of flowers along this former trolley bridge. In addition to its famous bridge, the two villages are known locally as an artisans' mecca.


Hampden County

Holyoke - Mt. Tom State Reservation
Another great view of the Pioneer Valley, the 1,800-acre Mt. Tom Reservation boasts 20 miles of hiking trails as well as picnicking, skiing and a host of other recreational opportunities.

Springfield - Forest Park
At 735 acres, Forest Park is one of the nation's largest and loveliest urban parks. Designed in the late 1800's by renowned Landscape Architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, the park was intended as a nature preserve and pleasure ground for the city's gentry. Today the park retains much of its woodland character. See the dazzling "Bright Nights" holiday light display, visit the zoo, and take a walk along the winding woodland pathways leading into the city's Historic Districts.

Hampshire County

Amherst - Emily Dickinson Homestead
Built in 1813, this home was occupied by the Dickinson family until 1899. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the property is currently owned by the Trustees of Amherst College, of which Emily's grandfather was a founder. "The Evergreens," home of Emily's brother is linked to the Homestead by a wooded footpath. Tours of both homes are offered. Cummington William Cullen Bryant Homestead From the age of five, Bryant lived on this 195-acre farm nestled in the Hampshire Hills. His writings often reveal his love of the outdoors which he came to know intimately in his long rambling daily walks in the forests and fields of his childhood. His poem, Thanatopsis, was penned here, as well as many of his editorials for his newspaper, The New York Evening News.

Hadley - Skinner State Park Hike along the spine of the Mt. Holyoke Range and enjoy the view of the CT River Valley. Part of Holyoke Range State Park, Skinner State Park is known for its historic Summit House, formerly a grand hotel. Hudson River School founder,Thomas Cole, chose this part of the valley to depict in his well known painting The Oxbow.

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