Franklin County is the most rural county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and it shows! Farms, fields and valleys form our historic villages and bustling towns. There is so much to do here – in our fine museums, educational institutions and cultural centers – but most of all, in our great outdoors! To get the flavor of the county, you can: Take in the valley views from atop Mount Sugarloaf. See a 360° view from Greenfield’s Poet Seat Tower. Walk the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. And be sure to stroll Old Deerfield’s mile-long street of 18th century houses. Enjoy local arts and crafts: this countryside harbors exceptional artists and craftspeople. En route to their studios and showrooms, to galleries and craft centers throughout Franklin County, appreciate the beauty that inspires their work.
Follow a back road, through a covered bridge, up into the hills and down again. Cruise the Connecticut River, ride the rapids of the Deerfield River between the green walls of Zoar gap. Listen to the blues in a bookstore cafe, once an 1830’s mill, or chamber music in a tiny rural church. Find a local swimming hole … and spend a night or two at a hilltop farm, in a gracious mansion or 18th century homestead, in villages that have changed little since the 19th century. Also be sure to visit Greenfield, the County Seat. Greenfield’s vibrant shop-lined downtown is in surprising contrast to the open fields and tumbling hills framing it. From Poet’s Seat Tower atop Rocky Mountain, enjoy a hawk’s eye view of hills and valleys. Summer and Fall, the Pioneer Valley Symphony echoes in the air. Rainbow bubbletops float overhead each July (July 21-22, 2007 during the Annual Green River Music & Balloon Festival on Greenfield Community College’s grounds. Cafes and shops provide ambience for artists, craftspeople, musicians and entertainers during the festivals and fairs each summer and fall. Quilts, scarecrows, livestock exhibits and competitions, parades, line dancing, musical entertainment, demolition derbies, horse draws, thrills shows and ferris wheels vie for attention at the old fashioned Franklin County Fair (September 6-9, 2007).