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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daytripping: Ashfield

The area of the Pioneer Valley and surrounding Western Mass is rife with lovely little towns to visit and spend a day -- we love to make the occasional jaunt to Shelburne Falls and Brattleboro.  A few weekends ago we made the short trip to Ashfield, where we spent the better part of the afternoon and evening.
In the autumn, Ashfield has a lively fall festival full of crafts, foods, music, dancing, tag sales, and feats of agriculture.  But there is definitely more to Ashfield than just their fall festival.

Chapel Brook & Pony Mountain: Ashfield is home to some beautiful falls & hiking trails along Chapel Brook and Pony Mountain.  Trails run along the brook, and in the brook there are falls to splash under, pools to cool off in, rocks to sit on, and natural water slides.

Elmer's Store: If you're looking for a snack or a morning meal, don't miss out on Elmer's Store. It boasts daily breakfast and lunch and a Friday night dinner, but it's also a corner store with a bakery, some pantry basics, local art and music, and occasional events.  Call or stop in for info -- the website is not updated regularly.

Ashfield Lake: The lake sports a couple of beaches, one of which is reserved for residents and one of which is open to the general public.  It's a large lake with plenty of room for swimming, kayaking, canoeing, or just wading around.

Ashfield Lakehouse: Right on the lake is a restaurant that looks to have been there for years and years.  It has outdoor deck dining with great lake views, a bar, a piano, pinball machines, and regular live music.  The online menu prices are a little out of date, but the burgers and fries were pretty good.

Belding Memorial Library: Open 3 days a week, this old library is a beauty.  Sit on the wood benches in the front lawn or enjoy the relaxing field-and-forest view from the stone bench behind the library.  If it's open, be sure to take a look inside.

If you're out for a stroll while in town, try not to miss the amazing Japanese lilac at the Inn at Norton Hill across the street from Elmer's or the classic hardware store on the main drag.
(There are lots of other places to go and things to see in Ashfield, but these were the highlights of one afternoon's visit.)

1 comment:

Mark Sindone said...

I near forgot that Ashfield held these gems in the suburbs. I actually live quite near by but never had the chance to get there to explore; mostly business. Looks like there's good reason to now!