The Mohawk trail is 65 miles of roadway that travels along route 2 in the Western Massachusetts Berkshires
. Originally a footpath
, then a carriage road for oxen and horses, the trail was reconstructed in 1914 at a cost of $368,000 for automobile use. Designated as a scenic tourist
route by the Massachusetts government, National Geographic
and The American Automobile Association
have endorsed the trail and recognized it for it’s scenic beauty.
Approximately a 2-hour drive starting in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the trail takes you through the towns of Adams, Bernardston, Charlemont, Colrain, Deerfield, Florida, Gill, Heath, New Ashford, North Adams, North Central, Northfield, Petersham, Savoy, Shelburne, Shelburne Falls, Turners Falls and Westminster, ending in Williamstown. The trail takes you to points of interest including the Haystack Monument, Sand Springs, the Clark Art Institute, Mass MOCA, The Site of Fort Massachusetts, Western Gateway Heritage State Park, New England's only natural bridge, Mount Greylock, the Hairpin Turn, Western Summit, Whitcomb Summit, the Hoosac Tunnel, Savoy Mt. State Forest, Mohawk Trail State Forest and the "Hail to the Sunrise" Monument.
The Mohawk Trail passes through the Mohawk state Forrest, which encompasses about 17,000 acres of open forest. Portions of the original footpath can still be found here. The path was originally used for trade, hunting and traveling for Native American tribes such as the Iroquois, Mahicans, Mohawks and Pocumtucks. Known for traveling single file, the trail originally used by the tribes was usually about 18 inches wide and covered the 65 miles via the most easily accessible route. During the reconstruction in the early 1900s, it was widened, paved and now has campgrounds, hiking trails, canoeing, waterfalls, museums, shops, wineries, and apple orchards. Peak times to visit the trail are in early October because of the fall foliage in New England.