The Shelburne Falls Loop + ADD NEW ROUTE
1 in Massachusetts Massachusetts132 Miles
on February 1, 2007
- Trip Toolbox
Start your loop in East Templeton, MA, and take Rt 2 west to Shelburne Falls, MA. From Shelburne Falls, take SR-112 south to SR-116 east and to Ashfield, MA. Continue on 116 past Ashfield and take it into Amherst. In Amherest Look for direction signs East for Pelham, right along the Town Common. From Pelham, head east up into the hills again until you get to Rt 202 at which point you will take a left (go north) and drive along the western edge of the Quabbin Reservoir. Take 202 north to and through New Salem and look for Rt 122 and take it east (take a right) and this will take you to Petersham and on down to Barre. At Barre you want to get on Rt 62 east for a short while till it intersects Rt 68 which you want to take north (take a left) and head on up to the end point of East Templeton, MA.
If you take Route 2W from the Boston area, and follow it past the Connecticut River, you will see signs for Route 2A Shelburne Falls. Once you get past Athol, MA, Route 2 is pretty. Shelburne Falls features the Bridge of Flowers (fantastic), and lots of shops. For a longer ramble back, allow for a few hours, and take a route that brings you along the Quabbin Reservoir. There's stops for vistas, forests, little hidden villages, and it's a great route for a hot day, as the Quabbin acts as a natural air conditioner.
Overall, you'll see lots of motorcycles on RT 202, as its a favorite ride. Not so many cars, though. There's lots of great stops to make, and some great ice cream stands in Petersham which is great. Central MA has some stunning old towns, and gorgeous farmland. Not much traffic makes for a relaxing ride. Bring your camera along!
Last summer they were doing road work near Erving, so there was some slightly nasty bits. Route 2 is mostly a one lane road out there, and cars want to exceed the speed limit, despite the ruts. Around Athol, and to the west, there are some long steep hills, if that sort of thing makes you nervous. Most of the roads around the Quabbin were just resurfaced, so you'll love them. The vista pull-offs are gravel, so watch yourself. Once around the Quabbin, my Route specifies taking Route 62 East from Barre. I'll warn you that there's some mighty steep hills, and the road quality isn't great, especially through Hubbardston. However, the scenery makes up for the bumps.
Shelburne Falls: the Bridge of Flowers, Shops, dining, and glacial potholes.
Deerfield: historic site, antiques, butterfly center.
Amherst: Shops, and dining
Quabbin Reservoir: Scenic wonderment
Petersham: antiques, ice cream, photo ops
Photo contributed by a visitor in July 09: "Photo taken along the Mohawk Trail, Rt 2 in Charlemont, MA."
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