Gracing the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, Shelburne Falls invites you to explore its natural wonders. This charming New England village is home of the internationally known Bridge of Flowers, a former trolley bridge that spans 400 feet across the Deerfield River. An abundant variety of plants and flowers flourishes on this garden pathway, transformed and meticulously tended by the Shelburne Falls Women's Club.
Visitors stroll leisurely down river to find an old Indian fishing ground, where they can see Salmon Falls and its Glacial Potholes-an amazing geological find! Geologists as well as nature buffs marvel at the ancient natural carvings created in the riverbed over the course of several hundred million years.
The lush river valley provides travelers with a wealth of recreation. Deerfield River is a popular spot for canoeing or tubing, river rafting, swimming and trout fishing. Outdoor enthusiasts relish bicycling and skiing in Shelburne, as well as rock climbing and hiking to nearby historic sites. The stone Massamet Fire Tower and the "High Ledge" rocks afford extraordinary views of the village and mountains, while the Mohican-Mohawk hiking trail extends along the Deerfield River for miles of spectacular autumn vistas and river scenes.
In addition to fabulous outdoor activities, visitors delight in the cultural and historical scene at Shelburne Village. Shelburne Falls is one of just four Massachusetts communities cited among The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America, in a book by John Villani featuring 100 U.S. towns and six Canadian towns. According to Villani, great talents who have tired of fast-paced cities frequently move to small towns to get the creative juices flowing, and cultural tourists can find artistic gems in a tiny village like Shelburne Falls.
Shelburne is a community dedicated to preserving the purity and simplicity of an earlier era, and this New England spirit is reflected in the charm of the downtown streets lined with unique specialty shops and artisans practicing their craft. Near the falls, the Lamson Cutlery Company still operates one of the town's old mills, where craftsmen fashion "Lamsonsharp" knives and other cutlery products. At another nearby mill, the Mole Hollow Candle Company produces hand-crafted tapers. Sightseers will savor visits to the Bald Mountain studio and gallery as well as views of glassblowers at the open studio at North River Glass. Visitors should stop in the Ann Brauer Quilt Studio for stunning needlework. The Salmon Falls Artisans Showroom displays the work of several area artists and artisans - and the Art Bank, a new community arts center in the historic Bank Block building, is reaching out to the community with art classes, exhibitions, music, dance and theater in the round. The performing arts are flourishing in Shelburne Falls. Mohawk Trail Concerts brings classical, folk and bluegrass concerts to Memorial Hall, a renovated 400-seat municipal theater housed above the Town Hall. Movie buffs enjoy classic and foreign film revivals at "Pothole Pictures," while theatregoers take in shows produced at the West County Players.
Visitors also will want to stop in the Mohawk Trail Post and Woven Wood's on Route 2 as well as Shelburne Antiques Cooperative.
Meandering through the streets of this old-fashioned yet thriving village, you'll visit historical museums, craft fairs and music festivals. As you explore outdoors, absorb the friendly atmosphere of the town's local eateries and pore over the Art Bank and galleries, you will discover the quiet allure of Shelburne Falls and look forward to many return visits!
For more information about Shelburne Falls, visit the website at www.shelburnefalls.com or write Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, 75 Bridge St., P.O. Box 42, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370. Call 413-625-2526.