Wanda Mooney

Blog :: 10-2020

View the Peak Foliage in Franklin County Massachusetts

Foliage Western Massachusetts Franklin CountyMany people’s favorite time of year in Massachusetts is autumn. The leaves turn and the trees become bursts of reds, oranges, and yellows. Now is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the fresh autumn air and epic views of the foliage. There are many ways to witness the natural beauty of fall in Franklin County - by car, bike, foot, or even canoe! Now is the time for peak foliage so be sure to get outside and take in the views!

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce has a list of Nine Franklin County Foliage Destinations, which you can view at franklincc.org. All of these places are amazing at any time of year, but especially right now! Be sure to check out their article and browse the list of great places for foliage in Franklin County. If that’s not enough, here are some of my personal favorite spots around Franklin County in the fall:


Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest, Hawley

Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest is a rich forest with over 35 miles of mixed-use hiking trails. Park your car across from Hallockville Pond and walk or mountain bike through this 7,882 acre woodland. Along the way, you might see relics from the abandoned village of South Hawley, such as cellar holes, a rare fieldstone “beehive” charcoal kiln, and the remains of a mill at Hallockville Pond. Find more information on the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation website.


Foliage October Hikes State ForestsCatamount State Forest, Colrain

Catamount was once a village in Colrain, whose claim to fame was that its schoolhouse was the first to fly the American flag in 1812. The village was abandoned in the early 20th century and today it is a beautiful state forest with trails for mountain bikers and hikers. Fishers and canoers are also drawn to the forest for McLeod Pond. Unfortunately, there is not too much information on the web about Catamount State Forest. However, you can easily search for the directions to get there. Once there, it is easy to follow the old logging roads up to the pond. 


Mohawk Trail State Forest

Mohawk Trail State Forest is a very popular destination in the summer, with camping available right next to the Deerfield River. However, in the fall it becomes a wonderful place to enjoy the foliage around the river and to take in the sights and smells of the season. The Mohawk Trail State Forest covers 6,000 acres of mountain ridges, gorges, and woods. While camping is no longer available past Mid-October, it is still a great place for a day visit to hike around and enjoy the scenery. Find more information about Mohawk Trail State Forest here


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

October 2020 Outdoor Almanac from Mass Audubon

blue moon halloween 2020 mass audubonEach month, Mass Audubon posts the Outdoor Almanac with a list of things to look out for in the weeks ahead. Here is the Outdoor Almanac for October. There are a lot of interesting animals and happenings in the sky to keep an eye out for this month.

A truly exciting event happening this month is the full moon on Halloween. This full moon is also considered a blue moon because it is the second full moon in a calendar month. We won't have another blue moon on Halloween until 2039! See below for more tips on what to find this month in the outdoors.

Outdoor Almanac October 2020 Mass Audubon

Information taken from Mass Audubon's website, www.massaudubon.org.


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Explore the Franklin County CiderDays Cider Trail 2020 All Season Long

headwater cider hawley massachusetts New England is known for its delicious varieties of apples - and New England cider is one of my favorite ways to enjoy these magnificent fruits. This year’s Franklin County CiderDays might not have cider salons or workshops, but you can still enjoy the regions’ wonderful ciders by hopping in your car and visiting all the great spots on the CiderDays Cider Trail. The event has been extended through the end of the season this year, so you have more time to stop by every point on the trail. 

All of the venues on the trail can be found at ciderdays.org/venues. Most of them are found in Franklin County. However, a few are found in the surrounding areas, such as Berkshire Cider Project in North Adams. Opened in July of this year, Berkshire Cider Project is a new craft cidery focused on dry sparkling ciders, located in a beautiful former textile mill with adjacent café and distillery. They are open Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 6 pm. Check out their website for special CiderDays events!

Hawley’s own Headwater Cider Company is also on the list of cideries participating in CiderDays. Headwater prides itself on doing every step of the cider-making process (growing, pressing, and bottling) all right there at the orchard. With over 2000 apple trees in the orchard at 1800 feet elevation, Headwater has a short but ideal growing season, with plenty of sunlight. This makes for perfect apples for hard cider with lots of flavor and natural sugars. Headwater is open on the weekends starting October 10 to November 8 from 10 am to 5 pm.  Check out their website for more information! (Photo right taken from Headwater Cider Company's Facebook Page.)

west county cider shelburne massachusettsDid you know that the oldest running cider house is located right here in Shelburne, Massachusetts? West County Cider was started in 1984 by the Maloney family. Today, they continue to make small-batch ciders using local apples, working with the variety of flavors that come from each year’s distinct apple harvest. The community is welcome to their tap room and bottle shop, located on Peckville Road, and as well to wander along their hiking trails and picnic grounds with an incredible tri-state view.  For their open hours, directions, and to check out their different styles of cider, head to their website. (Photo left taken from West County Cider's Facebook Page.)

Find out who else is on the CiderDays Cider Trail, plus more information about the 2020 Franklin County CiderDays at ciderdays.org


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Art Market at The Mill at Shelburne Falls this Saturday October 10th!

Resident makers and artist tenants at The Mill at Shelburne Falls are hosting a Harvest Makers and Art Market on

Saturday, October 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The outdoor market features work in a multiple of mediums including oil and acrylic, fine woodworking, glass, pottery, textile arts, handwoven goods, weathervanes, metal fabrications and sculpture. The Mill has onsite parking at 49 Conway Street and is located on the Buckland side of the Iron Bridge at Shelburne Falls. Admittance is free and the wearing of masks and the observation of social distancing protocols is required of all attendees.


Two dimensional artists include Ann Lofquist and Yani Counelis. Lofquist’s painted landscapes begin with what she describes as "an intense observed experience." Having taught for several years at Bowdoin College in Maine, she became recognized for her New England paintings that combined a contemporary visual awareness with the evocative subtleties of George Inness. Note cards and prints of her originals will be for sale. 

A native of Greece, mixed media artist Yani Counelis spent much of his professional life as an architect. Many of his paintings reflect his architectural sensibility combined with the written word.  He translates and  illustrates famous poet’s books which he custom frames.


Sculpture and metal artist Bruce Fowler never lost touch of the joy and wonderment of making objects out of discarded parts from interesting machinery or consumer products. For Fowler, taking things apart is just as much fun as putting things together with a focus is on finding things that fit together to make an original object. Weather vane maker, Marian Ives graduated from the School for American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since 1972 Ives has made the creation of custom copper weathervanes her primary focus. Her work adorns homes and barns in the New England area. With a lifelong love for birds and wildlife she started making ornaments about thirty years ago.

The Mill’s fine woodworking studios are represented by the Conway Chair Company and Kuklinski Woodworking. Pat Moriarty is the guiding hand behind the Conway Chair Company, a family owned woodworking company that makes heirloom quality hand sculpted chairs. His chairs and stools are recognized not only to be of the highest quality but for their ability to stand the test of time and to be proudly passed down and enjoyed through generations. Tom Kuklinski uses the finest local materials to create handmade furniture and accessories that are functional works of art. He strives for his work to deepen the connection to ourselves, with others, and to Nature.

Textile artists Heather Wynne and Sue McFarland share a cooperative studio in the Polishing building at the mill. With a focus on upcycling and sustainability, Heather Wynne creates one-of-a-kind pieces, limited-edition collections, and PDF sewing patterns.  Her work includes canvas bags and packs, pillows, unique accessories and cloth facemasks. Sue McFarland, a hand weaver and felt maker produces functional fashion accessories, sculptural and hanging work. Featured work for the market includes handwoven and felted scarves and seasonal home decorative accessories.

Artist Jeremy Sinkus uses flameworking to manipulate glass. A specially designed oxy/propane torch gives him point control of both tiny details and larger masses of glass. By kiln casting. Sinkus achieves larger more architectural forms of glass and coldworking the glass like you would cut and polish gemstone allow him to produce unique nature inspired forms and sculptures.

Other featured participants include students and interns from The Handle Factory Clay Studios founded in 2019 by Molly Cantor, potter and pottery teacher, with ceramics for sale in a variety of different styles. Additionally, stylist Kirsten Oxboel will present a carefully curated collection of vintage fashion and home décor. The former visual merchandiser for Urban Outfitters is known for her unique and whimsical taste.

More information is available at www.themillatshelburnefalls.com or by calling 413-522-4944.

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