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July 2019 Sales Report of Single Family Homes in Pioneer Valley

single family homes pioneer valley massachusettsSales of single family homes in Franklin County were up 2.9% and median price up 4.7% in July 2019 compared to July 2018. The sales were down 5.8% in Hampden County and 0.6% in Hampshire County. Median price was up in both Hampden and Hampshire Counties. 

The average days on market was down 4.7% from 56 average number of days in July 2018 compared to 53 days in July 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 18.2% from 578 listings pending in July 2018 to 683 listings pending sale in July 2019.

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Good Music and Good Vibes at the Charlemont Reggae Festival

charlemont reggae festival massachusettsFor the past 35 years, the Charlemont Reggae Festival has been bringing good music and good vibes to our beloved Charlemont in the hills of Western Franklin County. This Saturday, August 17th, spend the day at the Charlemont Fairgrounds and join the loving community of people who come out for the reggae festival. There will be food vendors selling delicious eats to choose from and Berkshire Brewing Company will be pouring their craft beer for those over 2. Browse the crafts under the local vendor tents and of course jam out to some awesome music! 

This year’s lineup includes Mykal Rose, Mighty Mystic, The Alchemystics, Big Takeover, Rhythm Incorporated, and more! Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the gate. Kids 12 and under enter for free. Doors open at 11 am and the festival starts at noon. The Charlemont Reggae Festival is dedicated to Ras Jahn Bullock, whose dedication and love for reggae and community has made this event possible for so many years. 

Click here for more information.

Follow them on Facebook!

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Come to the 102nd Heath Agricultural Fair This Weekend!

horse pull heath agricultural fairThe Heath Fair is one of the few country fairs still around that stays true to its agricultural roots. For over 100 years, it has offered events such as the ox draw, sheep shows, and various trade demonstrations to teach the community about agriculture in an engaging way. Every year the residents of Heath and visitors from surrounding towns look forward to this end of summer event. This year, the 102nd Heath Fair will take place this weekend, Friday evening, August 16th, and all day Saturday and Sunday, August 17th and 18th. 

It is truly incredible to see how a large event like this with a variety of activities comes together in such an organized way. It is because of the commitment of volunteers who run each of the events that the Heath Fair is so successful. This year’s lineup of events include the antique tractor pull, rabbit show, ADGA sanctioned senior goat show, ox draw, truck pull, and adult sheep show and more. Bring the kids because there will be so much for them to do too like the zucchini races, wagon rides, kids garden tractor pull, demonstrations, and the parade! 

Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty to eat! Join the organized meals such as the Church Ladies Ham and Bean Supper at 5:30 pm on Friday, the Heath Firefighters Association BBQ on both Saturday and Sunday, or the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Sunday morning. There will also be a great group of vendors selling food at the lower food booth and upper food booth.

A country fair is not complete without music and this year’s artist lineup is spectacular. On Friday night, check out Mamma’s Marmalade, a Northampton-based newgrass band and then join in on the square dancing, called by Doug Wilkins. On Saturday at 10 am, Under the Tree Music Company will perform a kids show. Then throughout the day, there will be musical performances by Uncles of the Pioneers, Lonesome Brothers, Josh LeVangie and the Pistoleros, and Deadgrass. On Sunday, check out the Shelburne Falls Military Band at 11:30 am and the Gaslight Tinkers at 1:30 pm. At 3:30 pm, there will be a special performance, Amazing Magic Show for All Ages with Damian Odess Gillett.

For the full schedule of events, visit heathfair.org. The Heath Fair is presented by the Heath Agricultural Society. Admission is only $10 or $8 for seniors and free for children 10 and under. Parking is free. See you at the Heath Fair!

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Photo credit: Heathfair.org

Zoar Outdoor 5th Best Rafting Company in the US

zoar outdoor rafting deerfield riverRecently, Zoar Outdoor was named the 5th best rafting company in the nation by a USA Today readers’ poll. An expert panel chose 15 rafting companies around the country to vote from, and then readers voted, placing Zoar Outdoor in Charlemont at number 5. This is a great accomplishment, not only for Zoar, but for our area too. It shows how Franklin County is a place with top outdoor companies and natural attractions worth visiting.

Zoar offers a variety of activities on the Deerfield River. They have rafting trips for small children and first-timers on the river, to adrenaline junkies seeking a thrill. The float trip is a great way to experience the scenery and enjoy the river in a relaxed way. The Zoar Gap rafting trip is a nice way to experience more intermediate whitewater and the Dryway rafting trip is for those ready to paddle as a team and hit bigger features on the river. Guests can also experience the river from a kayak for an afternoon on the Guided River Kayaking tour or learn to whitewater kayak in one of their instructional clinics. Off the river, Zoar has tours on the first Zipline Canopy Tour in Massachusetts and rock climbing tours.

Two other outfitters also operate on the Deerfield and offer a great customer experience. Crabapple Whitewater offers rafting and inflatable kayak tours, and Berkshire East has their own whitewater rafting team, as well.

The Deerfield River is also enjoyed by fly fisherman. The river has a mix of wild and stocked trout. Due to the scheduled water releases, the water stays cold through the summer. However, the river requires a skilled navigator to maneuver around rocks and through sections of whitewater rapids. Fortunately, there are plenty of guide services operating on the Deerfield river, ready to show fishermen the best spots to find fish:

Deerfield River MassachusettsJonathan Bunker – http://squaretailanglers.com/

Mike Didonna – http://www.deerfieldflyshop.com/

Walt Geryk – http://neffguide.com/ma.html

Eric Halloran – https://fishtalefabricators.com/

Dan & Tom Harrison – http://www.harrisonanglers.com/

Chris Jackson – http://www.flyfishthedeerfield.com/

Brian Lynch – http://www.pheasanttailtours.com/

Overwatch Outpost, Charlie Ricko  – http://overwatch-outpost.com

The Deerfield River can also be enjoyed just as much from shore. There are several great swimming spots along the river. Shunpike rest area in Charlemont has a nice small beach and great rocks for lounging. The river is also relatively shallow in that spot, making it nice for wading out into the water (depending on the water release level). The Zoar Picnic Area in Charlemont is also a great spot for setting up a picnic. There are plenty of tables and camping grills to have a BBQ and hang by the river. 

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Sources: http://deerfieldrivertroutunlimited.com/local-fly-shops-and-guide-services/
http://franklincc.chambermaster.com/news/details/news-release-8-6-2019-30
https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/the-deerfield-river/151807

Photo Credit: Bob Story Photography

Charming, Quality-Built Home For Sale in Greenfield

home for sale greenfield10 Ferrante Avenue, Greenfield

Quality built and superb workmanship with original period details makes this charming Greenfield home one you must see. Fine features include custom woodwork, glass door knobs, attractive moldings, french doors, beautiful fixtures and hardwood floors throughout. The exterior is surrounded by gorgeous lush gardens and patio area creating a secluded backyard oasis that is a rare find. You are greeted at the front door with a welcoming entrance leading to the first floor that has an eat-in kitchen, 1/4 bath, dining room, large living room with attractive fireplace with french doors to a fabulous sunroom. The second floor has 3 bedrooms, full bath and plenty of closet space. Your favorite room in the house will be the 3 season fully enclosed porch that overlooks the picturesque backyard. It is the perfect place to relax or entertain. This is considered one Greenfield's finest neighborhoods with easy access to I-91, shopping and Four Corners School.

Set up a showing appointment today with Wanda! Call 413-768-9848 or email Wanda@WandaMooney.com.

View the full listing here.

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Local State Forests Worth Visiting in Franklin County

Living in Franklin County, Massachusetts, we don't have to go far to find pristine waters, gorgeous landscapes, and remote places to relax in nature. In fact, we don't even have to leave the county! Check out these local state forests which offer hiking, canoeing, fishing, camping, and more! 

Kenneth Dubuque State Forest PlainfieldKenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest

Located on West Hawley Road in Plainfield, Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest (pictured right) offers 35 miles of mixed-use trails. Hiking, mountain-biking, and snowmobiling are all permitted activities in the state forest, as long as you remain on the marked trails. You can also relax and fish at Hallockville Pond, where you will find the remains of an old mill. Other remains of the past include cellar holes from abandoned village of South Hawley and a rare fieldstone "beehive" charcoal kiln. More information here.

Catamount State Forest

Catamount State Forest is a part of the former village of Colrain, Catamount. Catamount was the site of the first schoolhouse to fly the United States Flag in 1812. Now, much of Catamount is public land, although part of it is private property so beware of no trespassing signs. The former roads of Catamount are no mostly accessible by foot, mountain bike, or snowmobile. Trails lead up to a beautiful pond, not suitable for swimming, but great for canoeing to its islands. More info here.

Erving State Forest

Erving State Forest is a beautiful forest and campground located on Route 2 in Erving. The park supports a variety of outdoor recreational activities. You can hike, bike, or snowmobile along the 8-miles of forest roads and trails, go boating, swimming, or fishing at the pristine Laurel Lake, and camp at the easily accessed campgrounds. Camping is $17/night for Massachusetts residents and $27/night for non-residents. Parking fees (only applicable Memorial Day through Labor Day) are $8/day for Massachusetts residents and $15/day for non-residents. More info here.

Mohawk Trail State Forest

Also on Route 2/Mohawk Trail, but on the other side of Interstate 91, lies 6,000 acres of mountain ridges, gorges, and woods that compose the Mohawk Trail State Forest. Right along the Deerfield River, there are plenty of great swim spots and miles of river to canoe and kayak. Bring your own tent to camp or stay in one of their cabins. There are grills, a pavilion, and picnic areas on site. More information here.
 

Run, Bike, and Swim at the Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon in Greenfield, Massachusetts

greenfield lightlife triathlonThis coming Sunday, August 4th, 2019 is the 36th annual Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the longest running triathlon in New England! There is still time to register for the race - so come out and challenge yourself on this beautiful course. The course meanders through the back roads of Greenfield, passes through the Historic Eunice Williams Covered Bridge, and features swimming in the Green River. You can sign up as an individual or as a two or three person team. Find out more information on registration and fees at https://www.greenfield-triathlon.com/register.php. All proceeds from the Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon benefit the Greenfield Recreation Department. Over the years, this triathlon has raised thousands of dollars to support programs and events for the community. 

After the race, there will be a celebratory lasagna lunch and awards ceremony. Awards go to the overall male and female winners, relay team finishers, and top finishers by age group. There are also two special awards - the Nook Burniske Award and the Patrick Bell Award. The Nook Burniske Award goes to somebody who embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and has contributed to the Greenfield Triathlon or Greenfield sports in a significant way. The Patrick Bell Award goes to the youngest finisher of the Greenfield Triathlon.

If participating in the triathlon is not for you, you can still be a part of the event by volunteering or spectating. The race runs on 80+ volunteers to fill jobs from serving food to site preparation to finish line assistant and more. Register to volunteer hereYou can also support the runners by cheering them on from the sidelines. There are several designated parking areas for spectators throughout the course and plenty of great spots to watch and cheer. For specific information on these locations, click here.

If the 2019 triathlon doesn’t seem feasible for you, consider participating next year. The triathlon has a training program for participants that goes for 7 weeks on Sundays from mid-June to the end of July. There is also a free one-day triathlon clinic to familiarize participants with the course and discuss best practices for preparing yourself for the race. It is also a great opportunity to meet other triathletes. 

Go to greenfield-triathlon.com for more information. Good luck to all the triathletes!

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Photos from Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon / greenfield-triathlon.com 

 

June 2019 Sales Report of Single Family Homes in Pioneer Valley

sold in massachusetts wanda mooneySales of single family homes in Franklin County were up 22% and median price up 14.2% in June 2019 compared to June 2018. The sales were down 15.5% in Hampden County and 11% in Hampshire County. Median price was up in both Hampden and Hampshire Counties. 

The average days on market was down 5.7% from 58 average number of days in June 2018 compared to 55 days in June 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 7% from 627 listings pending in June 2018 to 671 listings pending sale in June 2019.

This information is provided by the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

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Pioneer Valley Sales Report Single Family Homes Massachusetts

5 Amazing Hiking Trails in Franklin County, MA

I always appreciate living in Franklin County because of its natural beauty. There are so many places where you can immerse yourself in nature and take in the magnificent views around the valley. Plus, with so many hiking trails around, you can get all the exercise you need without having to go inside. Take a look at some of my favorite places in Franklin County to hike and explore:

high ledges shelburne massHigh Ledges, Shelburne

High Ledges is a wildlife sanctuary in Shelburne. A series of looping trails allow you to make your hike as short or as long as you’d like. Stop by the vernal pool in the spring time and watch the salamanders grow. Originally the site of Dutch and Mary Barnhardt’s home, the fireplace structure still remains, right next to the viewing point of the village of Shelburne Falls. If you continue on the long trail, you can see the wolf dens, where supposedly the last wolf in the area was exterminated. Visit the Mass Audubon website for more information on High Ledges.

Rocky Mountain Poets Seat Tower, Greenfield 

If you find yourself in downtown Greenfield with just a few hours to spare, Rocky Mountain is the perfect quick hike. This is a 2.4-mile loop, great for all abilities, and moderately trafficked. At the top, you can climb the Poets Seat Tower, a reconstructed stone tower which was built in 1912. From the tower, you can look out over the Town of Greenfield, the Connecticut River Valley, and Montague. Find out more at Greenfield Recreation Department’s website.

Chapel Brook, Ashfield

 Chapel Ledges Brook Ashfield MassChapel Brook in Ashfield offers hiking, swimming, and rock climbing all in one place. Its rugged beauty and tranquility makes it a perfect place to escape for an afternoon or a day. Hike to the top of Pony Mountain and gaze at the top of the hills in Ashfield. There is a direct, steep hike, or another more moderate trail that winds around the side of the mountain. Both trails end at the top of Chapel Ledges, a tall rock face which draws rock climbers from around the area. On hot days you can cool off in the brook, which has a series of small waterfalls with beautiful pools below, perfect for taking a dip. Visit The Trustees website for more information.

Bears Den, New Salem

Bears Den is another spectacular place in Franklin County that offers a great reward with little work. It is located where the middle branch of the Swift River drops off into a woodland pool in a gorge on its way to the Quabbin Reservoir. Hike along the short, quarter-mile trail and then decide - left or right. Go left and be enchanted by the beautiful waterfall or go right and hike along the stream, past large boulders, ending at the site of an Old Mill. Get directions to Bears Den at the Trustees website.

Gunn Brook Falls, Sunderland

Another great waterfall that we are lucky to have close by is Gunn Brook Falls in Sunderland. The trail to get there is only 0.2 miles, which makes it great for families with small children. However, if you’re looking for more hiking, you can continue on the trail up Mt. Toby. At the top of Mt. Toby, you can climb the tower if your fear of heights allows, and get an awesome 360 degree view of the area. Learn more about Gunn Brook Falls here.

 

 

 

Burnt Hill Farm Shares Their Delicious Blueberries With Western Mass

Burnt Hill Blueberry Farm Heath MassachusettsBurnt Hill Blueberry Farm in Heath, Massachusetts is excited to share their delicious blueberries with their neighbors of Western Mass. Last year, the Nartowicz Family, which has been in Heath for over a hundred years, purchased the farm. Now, they are growing low bush wild blueberries high in the hills of Heath. 

Their first blueberry season is already off to a great start, with all of their pick-your-own appointments already filled! You can still get some blueberries of your own, by ordering pre-picked boxes of blueberries on their website, burnthillfarm.com. You can pick them up in July and August. Prices are $38 for a 10 lb box and $68 for a 20 lb box.  

You could also run into them at a local farmers’ market or farm stand, selling pints and quarts! Stay up to date on what they’re up to this summer by following them on Facebook

Happy berry season!

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