Around Franklin County, you’ll find many old buildings, structures, and features which were built around the time of the Industrial Revolution and no longer serve a purpose. Rather than letting them sit and deteriorate, many of these outdated relics have been renovated and given a new purpose which serves the community in some way. One example of this is the Canalside Rail Trail, a little treasure in Turners Falls.
Once a rail bed, which runs along the canal and the Connecticut River, the trail has been paved and made usable for walkers/joggers, cyclists, and other forms of human-powered wheels. The stretch of trail runs 3.7 miles with ample parking on both ends, at Unity Park in Turners Falls, and McClelland Farm Road in Deerfield. Along the way, you’ll cross the 1880 trestle bridge over the Connecticut River, from which you can gaze up and down the river and even see the mouth of the Deerfield River. You’ll also pass many serene rest stops with benches and picnic tables which offer stunning views of the river and the wildlife. Once you reach Turners Falls, you'll be riding alongside the canals and old factories (hence the name!) and eventually come to the fish ladder where you can get a close up view of the migrating fish. The Canalside Rail Trail has a lot to offer and I recommend riding it during different times of year to see the trail in all its forms!
After the trail, be sure to check out the wonderful village of Turners Falls. There are some great eateries such as The Rendezvous, Five Eyed Fox, and Black Cow Burger Bar to name a few, and some great places to shop, like Tangible Bliss and LOOT Found + Made.
More information on the Canalside Rail Trail here.
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