Northfield Mountain Recreation & Environmental Center

Pioneer Valley

Stretching 7 miles along the Connecticut River, this attractive recreation area is maintained by the hydroelectric company that dammed the river (as per their federal license). Recreational opportunities include 26 miles of trails that are perfect for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing (skis and snowshoes can be rented). On the water, there's canoeing and kayaking, as well as an informative river-boat cruise. Use of the hiking and mountain biking trails is free; the visitor center has maps.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pioneer Valley attractions

1. Leverett Peace Pagoda


The world can always do with a little more peace. A group of monks, nuns and volunteers are doing their part in an unexpected spot in the woods near the…

2. Historic Deerfield Village

8.07 MILES

The main street of Historic Deerfield Village escaped the ravages of time and now presents a noble prospect: a dozen houses dating from the 1700s and…

3. Memorial Hall Museum

8.14 MILES

Here's the original building of Deerfield Academy (1798), the prestigious preparatory school in town. It's now a museum of Pocumtuck Valley life and…

4. Glacial Potholes

13.6 MILES

Stones trapped swirling in the roiling Deerfield River have been grinding into the rock bed at this location ever since the ice age. The result: 50 near…

5. Bridge of Flowers

13.69 MILES

Since 1929, volunteers have maintained this bridge of blooms over the Deerfield River. It's one photogenic civic centerpiece. More than 500 varieties of…

6. University of Massachusetts

15.72 MILES

The enormous University of Massachusetts at Amherst illustrates the distinction between public and private higher education in the US. Founded in 1863 as…

7. West Cemetery

16.09 MILES

For a peek at Amherst's colorful past, make your way to the West Cemetery, between Triangle St and N Pleasant St. Here you'll find the graves of Amherst's…

8. Emily Dickinson Museum

16.33 MILES

During her lifetime, Emily Dickinson (1830–86) published only seven poems, but more than 1000 were discovered and published posthumously, and her verses…