Sunderland lies on the southern edge of Franklin County, north of Hampshire County. The town has a total area of 14.7 square miles and is bordered by Montague to the north, Leverett to the east, Amherst and Hadley to the south, and Whately and Deerfield to the west. It has a population of approximately 3600.
Mount Toby, a prominent conglomerate mountain with a fire tower lookout, stands at the east border of the town and is traversed by the 47-mile (76 km) Robert Frost Trail. The mountain, surrounded by Mount Toby State Forest, is known for its waterfalls, scenic vista, and biologically diverse ecosystem.
Sunderland, which has long been a thriving agricultural community that benefits from the rich Connecticut River Valley soil, was incorporated on November 12, 1718. The name of the town was chosen to honor Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland and Prime Minister of England. The first town meeting was recorded as being held on March 16, 1719.