tourism great outdoorsEast Branch of the North River (photo by The Recorder/Paul Franz)

Franklin County's natural resources are extensive and provide opportunities for canopy tours zip-lining down the hillsides of West County, hiking Audubon trails, biking routes as fine as anywhere in New England, canoeing and kayaking on a myriad of rivers, bountiful fishing, X-country skiing in season, almost anything you want to do in the great out-of-doors in any season of the year.

Golf/Pitch and Putt


Ashfield Golf Club - 9 holes
Norton Hill Road

Edge Hill Golf Course - 9 holes
298 Barnes Road, carts available, 413-628-4413, 413-625-6018 www.edgehillgolfcourse.com


Crumpin-Fox Club - 18 holes
Parmenter Road, carts available, 413-648-9101, 800-943-1901 golfthefox.com/crumpin-fox


Country Club of Greenfield - 18 holes
244 Country Club Road, carts available, 413-773-7530 countryclubofgreenfield.net/



Northfield Golf Club - 9 holes
31 Holton Street, carts available, 413-498-2432 northfieldgolfcourse.com


Goodnow's Chip & Putt - 18 holes
Route 2, Mohawk Trail, 413-625-6107 www.facebook.com/Goodnows-Chip-and-Putt-412440240672


Thomas Memorial Golf & Country Club - 9 holes
29 Country Club Lane, carts available, 413-863-8003 www.thomasmem.com/

Rafting/Ziplining/Skiing/Mountain Coaster


Berkshire East Mountain Resort
Four seasons of adventure: three zip line canopy tours, whitewater rafting on one of the three sections of the Deerfield River, cruising the world class flow trails of Thunder Mountain Bike Park, riding the rails of North America’s longest mountain coaster, skiing from beginner to expert. 413-339-6617 berkshireeast.com

Crab Apple Whitewater
Five different whitewater rafting and inflatable kayak trips. Easy, intermediate and advanced trips - full or half-day. Ages 5 and up. Family operated since 1983. (800) 553-RAFT (7238) www.crabapplewhitewater.com

Zoar Outdoor and Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours
Whitewater rafting, canoe and kayak instruction and rock climbing adventures. Sit-on-top kayak rentals, rafting float trips, bike rentals. Onsite lodging and camping. Try Zoar Outdoor’s newest adventure — the 3-hour-long zip line canopy tour is an aerial trek through the woods by means of 9 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 3 rappels suspended in the trees and connected through platforms that sit high above the forest floor. (800) 532-7483 www.zoaroutdoor.com

State Forests (www.mass.gov/dcr)

Catamount State Forest
(413) 339-5504. Located between Colrain and Charlemont, it can be accessed by Four Mile Square Road in Colrain. There is a 27-acre lake and several streams that are stocked with trout, along with hiking, horseback riding and XC trails.

Conway State Forest
(413) 268-7098. In southern Conway, it is reached from West Whately Road off Route 116 just east of the Village. Hiking, fishing, horseback riding, hunting and winter activities are available as well as four miles of streams for trout fishing.

H.O. Cook State Forest
(413) 339-5504. In Colrain, it is located one mile east of Route 8A on State Farm Road just south of the Vermont State line. Hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and winter activities are available on this 1620-acre site.

Daughters of the American Revolution State Forest
(413) 268-7098. A 1,000 acre forest in Ashfield and Goshen. There are two lakes, picnic and camping area, swimming, bath houses, boat ramp, fishing, hunting, hiking, XC skiing and snowmobiling. Reached by taking Cape Street, about one mile from the Route 112/Spruce Corner intersection.

Erving State Forest
(978) 544-3939. 4,479 acres of hiking, XC skiing, snowmobiling and hunting. Laurel Lake is open for swimming, boating and fishing. There are 29 campsites for tents or trailers and a picnic area and swimming. Reached by taking North Street from the center of town or from Route 2A on Wendell Depot Road where there is an administration building.

Kenneth Dubuque State Forest
(413) 339-5504. 7,822 acres in Hawley offering fishing, hiking, four shelters with fireplaces and tables, horseback riding and snowmobiling. It is reached either from Route 8A off Route 2 in Charlemont or from Route 116 in Plainfield to Route 8A in Charlemont.

Leyden State Forest
(413) 545-5993. Hiking, hunting and nature observing on 61 acres between County and Beaver Meadow Roads in Leyden.

criverneartfdamfranzMohawk Trail State Forest
(413) 339-5504. 6,457 acres located in the towns of Charlemont, Savoy, Florida and Hawley offer fishing, hunting, nature study, hiking, boating, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and XC skiing. The main entrance on Route 2 in Charlemont has a scenic picnic area, 56 campsites and swimming.

Monroe State Forest
(413) 339-5504. A 4,321-acre forest that is in southern and central Monroe and extends into Florida. It includes a lookout platform at the side of Hunt Hill and more than five miles of native trout streams. Also, there are several miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding and hunting and winter activities are also available. It is
reached off Route 2, east on Monroe Road.

Mount Grace State Forest
(978) 544-6536. In Warwick, encompassing 1,689 acres. Hiking, horseback riding, XC skiing, snowmobiling, fishing , picnic area with tables/fireplaces, hunting. Fire tower at the summit. An administration building is located on Route 78 near the New Hampshire border.

Mount Toby Reservation
(413) 545-5993. In Sunderland, on Reservation Road off Route 47 at the Montague town line. The hike to the observation tower and panoramic view of the valley takes about an hour.

Northfield State Forest
(413) 545-5993. Hunting, fishing and hiking on 2,223 acres. This forest can be reached on Wendell Depot Road north, off Route 2.

South River State Forest
(413) 339-5504. 500 acres in Conway. Accessed from Shelburne Falls and Bardswell Ferry Roads north of Route 116. Fishing available in the South, Bear and Deerfield Rivers. Picnic tables along the South River, primitive tent sites available.

Shutesbury State Forest
(413) 659-3797. 845-acre forest that has fishing, hunting and hiking. Located off Cooleyville Road.

Warwick State Forest
(413) 545-5993. Reached on Route 78 and Athol Road there is a 31-acre trout
stocked lake. Power boats are not allowed.

Wendell State Forest
(413) 659-3797. 7,900 acres in Wendell. Hiking, horseback riding, groomed XC ski trails and snowmobiling trails. Several ponds and streams. Hunting is allowed. Ruggles Pond is a popular swimming & recreation area with a picnic area & ball fields. Wendell Depot Road off Route 2A or Cooleyville Road from Route 202.



Ashfield Lake — Right in the center of town off Rte 112.

Highland Lake — in the DAR forest has a swimming and picnic area. Reached by taking Cape Street, about one mile from the Route 112/Spruce Corner intersection.


Buckland Recreational Area — Off Route 112, this 21-acre site has pool swimming, picnic area and playing fields. Day and season passes are available.


Mohawk State Park — Located on Route 2 in Charlemont, there is swimming in the Deerfield River and a scenic picnic area.


Tri-Town Beach — Located on Old State Road in South Deerfield. Swimming and kayaking.


Laurel Lake — Reached by taking North Street from the center of town or from Route 2A on Wendell Depot Road where there is an administration building. (978) 544-3939


Green River Municipal Pool — Located on Nash’s Mill Road between Colrain and Leyden Roads, it is a popular swimming, picnicking and recreation area with a playground for children. Lifeguards and a concession stand in summer. Fee required. (413) 772-1553 for information.


Lake Mattawa — A popular swimming area that has a beach located on Holtshire Road.


Lake Wyola — The beach is located on Lakeview Road. From Route 63 take North Leverett Road in Montague or from Route 202 take Prescott Road to Wendell Road and follow the signs.


Ruggles Pond — A popular swimming area. From the center of Millers Falls take Montague Road, from Route 2A in Orange take Wendell Depot Road or from Route 202 in Shutesbury take Cooleyville Road.


Ponds, lakes, rivers and streams abound in Franklin County for the serious or recreational fishing enthusiast. Many are stocked with trout and other native species. A Massachusetts fishing license is required and can be obtained from any Town Clerk or from area sporting goods stores. This section features fishing spots and also some places to visit when you’ve caught your limit. Hunting areas are abundant in the county and are often found in the many state forests. A Massachusetts hunting license is required. Massachusetts Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping Licenses can be purchased at authorized License Agent locations including the following:

- Retail Stores
- City/Town Clerk Offices
- Division of Marine Fisheries Offices
- Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Offices

See this link for license agent locations.

Barton Cove Boat Ramp
Offers access to the Connecticut River on Route 2 in Gill about a half mile from the Gill Montague Bridge.

Bitzer Fish Hatchery
This facility on Hatchery Road between Montague and Greenfield Roads in Montague is operated by the State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, raising trout for stocking throughout the state. 9AM-3PM. (413) 367-2477

Cranberry Pond
Sunderland between Rtes. 63 & 47 on Reservation Road. Boat ramp for non-motorized boats. Trout stocked.

Cronin National Salmon Station
US Fish and Wildlife Service facility has some 600 salmon. Part of the Atlantic salmon restoration to the Connecticut River and its tributaries. Open to the public, in Sunderland on East Plumtree Road near Amherst town line. (413) 548-9010

Deerfield River
Fishing, canoeing, whitewater rafting and swimming. Catch and release fishing from Fife Brook Dam to the Hoosac Tunnel railroad bridge in Monroe and from the mouth of Pelham Brook to Mohawk Campground in
Charlemont. Good fly-fishing.

Falls River
Bernardston, from Vermont to the Connecticut River. Annually stocked with trout.

Green River
Runs along Green River Road from Greenfield, borders Leyden and Colrain. Stocked with trout and has several deep pools.

Leverett Pond
Located in the center of town. There is a boat launching area on the side neaest the town hall.

Pauchaug Brook
Boat, canoe and kayaking launching area for the Connecticut River located on Routes 63 and 10 beyond Northfield Center.

Bennett Meadow Wildlife Management Area
Off the Route 10 Bennett Meadow River Bridge, offers small game hunting and is stocked with pheasant. Camp overnight or picnic at the FLP Munn’s Ferry campground.

Quabbin Reservoir
39 square mile reservoir is the drinking source for almost half of MA, but restricted fishing is allowed from mid-April to mid-October. Limited motorized boating & fishing, boat launch at Gate 31 in New Salem off Route 122. Access subject to regulations strictly enforced by the Metropolitan District Commission. Route 202 in Belchertown. (413) 323-7221

"My husband is a motorcycle enthusiast and likes riding the Mohawk Trail"
"The county is peppered with old and new all mixed up"
"An air of peace and tranquility"
"Real community authenticity. Franklin County is not pseudo anything."
"More down to earth, no pretense, real people."
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