Blog :: 08-2019

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.

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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.