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Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary

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Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary


We are planning a weekend to the Quabbin are to go hiking and biking, and would love input from anyone familiar with the area on things to do, places to eat, etc. Open to all idea!


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1. Re: Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary

Hi there,

First of all, pick up a book by Michael Tougias called "Quabbin - A History and Explorers Guide" for an extensive list of hikes, history, etc. (You should be able to pick it up at a Barnes and Noble under New England Travel.) One of the first places you probably want to stop is at the MDC visitors center off of Rt 9 on the Belchertown/Ware town line (adjacent to the dam).

- For places to stay, you may want to stay closer to Northampton or Amherst. There isn't really anywhere to stay in Belchertown or Ware (or to eat for that matter). (I live in Belchertown.) I have heard that the Inn at Clamber Hill is pretty cool (old style B&B) in Petersham on the other side of Quabbin. There is a new Courtyard by Marriott right on Rt 9 in Amherst.

-So, I would maybe suggest staying in the Northampton area. There are tons of great restaurants, the Norwottuck bike trail (from Belchertown to Northampton), and some cool places to stay. Its about 20 min to Belchertown/Quabbin on Route 9.

-If in Btown - good bkfst place is the Road House - great homemade breads too.

- Recommend checking out The Rock House run by the Trustees of the Reservations on Rt 9 just outside of Ware. Can look it up online under the Trustees. Its a cool short hike.

- If you stay more in the Nhampton/Amherst area you can do a lot of hikes at the Skinner State Park on the Holyoke Range. Its run by the Dept of Conservation and Recreation - you can find hiking trail maps on their website. Also can check out Mount Sugarloaf in Sunderland up the Connecticut River for a nice short hike and great views of the valley.

- can rent kayaks/canoes at White's Landing on Rt 148 in W Brookfield (they have a website)

- can rent kayaks/canoes up by Greenfield on the Connecticut River at Barton's cove - they even have a canoe shuttle where they can take you upriver to the Vermont border and you can canoe back down to your car. Its a beautiful ride down near the French King Bridge on Route 2. They also have an interpretive boat ride which is really nice.

- check out the Book Mill in Montague for some good food and for "books that you don't need in a place you can't find", located in a beautiful spot in an old mill on the river

Hopefully this info gives you some ideas for your adventure-filled trip!

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2. Re: Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary

Aren't there some places in Petersham? I'm pretty sure that is near the reservoir although I could be confused, but I think it is near that area.

Fort Lauderdale...
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3. Re: Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary

North Quabbin Native, here:

Petersham is near the north west side of the valley. Except for B&B's, there are not a lot of accomodation choices available at the north end. That being said, there are things to do at that end of things.

Royalston is one of the undiscovered gems of Massachusetts. A town time forgot: Royalston common is probably the best preserved town center in southern new england. Surrounded by forests and federal mansions it is very pretty. And that mountain you can see off to the norteast? Monadnock!

Royalston has 3 waterfalls in the town: the easist to find is Donaes falls. Take Rt. 32N out of Athol, cross Tully Lake Dam and turn right onto Doanes Hill Road (1st REAL right after the dam). When you have gone up a VERY steep hill, park at the bridge and walk the marked paths. From there, the road that goes off to the left at the top of the hill takes you to Royalston Common. You can then take Rt 68 S to Gardner and Rt. 2 if you like, but you will miss an excellent resturaunt.

The King Phillip Resturaunt in Phillipston is at the exit where Rt. 2 changes from 4 lanes to 2: it is also the junction of US 202 and SR 2, The prime rib is my personal favorite!

I Hope you enjoy your visit, and I would love to read a trip report of wnat you did on your weekend!

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4. Re: Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary

Thank you both so much! These are great recommendations I couldn't find anywhere online but here. I will let you know what we decide to do and report back!!! Thanks again!

North Quabbin...
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5. Re: Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary

Hello, Bean97!

The North Quabbin region is a beautiful, scenic area with over 94,000 acres in conservation. The majority of the acreage is due to the Quabbin Reservoir and its surrounding watershed. The Quabbin is often referred to as the "Accidental Wilderness" with much flora and fauna. In addition to the Reservoir there are many great places for hiking, mountain biking, paddling, fishing, birding, animal trekking, and cross-country skiing. The foliage here is spectular in the fall and usually peaks from the last week of September through Columbus Day weekend.

There are many classic New England towns steeped in historic preservation. From stately, old homes and quaint town commons, you will feel like you stepped back in time. There are also farms and orchards where you can visit alpacas and pick your own apples when in season.

Below is a list of some great places to visit:

Quabbin Reservoir -- Hike or mountain bike along one of the many trails, accessed from the Reservoir's designated gates. Gate 40, located on Route 32A, features one of the displaced, town commons from the creation of the Reservoir. At this gate, you will see old cellar holes, stone walls, and possibly some wildlife. At Gate 31, located on Route 122, you can rent motorized or non-motorized rowboats with a valid fishing license. "Day" fishing licenses are available for a small fee at this gate. Whether you fish or not, it would be a great spot for seeing the Quabbin by water -- you may even see bald eagles! Governor Deval Patrick recently visited here, as well. For a great overlook of the Quabbin, visit Gate 30, located on Route 202. All of the gates are scenic, relatively flat, and easy to navigate but the gates listed above are particularly distintive.

Harvard Forest and Fisher Museum -- Harvard University's Forestry Department is located in the North Quabbin. The campus includes 3,000 acres available for hiking and mountain biking along with an award-winning museum featuring the changes in the landscape since the early settlers.

Trustess of Reservations Properties -- The Trustees have nine locations within the North Quabbin Region; all of them are excellent. At Doanes' Falls, you can hike and picnic along a spectacular waterfall. At Tully Lake campground, a fantastic spot, you can rent kayaks and enjoy a serene water excursion plus access additional hiking and mountain biking trails.

Wendell State Forest -- A favorite place of the New England Mountain Biking Association for its trails. There is also a pristine beach and lake for swimming.

Mount Grace State Forest -- Mount Grace is the third highest elevation east of the Connectict River and offers breathtaking views of other mountains, ridges, valleys, forests, and settlements.

Places to Stay -- Winterwood at Petersham or the Inn at Clamber Hill, two historic inns with lovely settings and perfect for an anniversary or any special occasion.

For nightlife, you can visit Amherst, MA which is approximately a 30-minute drive from the region. There are lots of great restaurants and cafes and an independent movie theatre.

I hope this is helpful information -- please let me know if I can answer any additional questions. If you like "green" travel and classic New England towns, you will love it here. The people here are very friendly and down-to-earth, too.

Enjoy and best wishes for a happy anniversary and many more to come!

6. Re: Visiting The Quabbin Reservoir Area for our 1st anniversary

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