The Mohawk Trail
The Mohawk Trail began as a Native American migratory game path. Today it is officially known as Massachusetts Route 2, and it extends from Boston, Massachusetts to Buffalo, New York. It has become a popular motorcycle route, but it is also an enjoyable scenic route by car because of the numerous attractions along the way.
Like many roads in New England, the trail got its start as a migratory game path originating somewhere west of the Taconic Mountains (in what's now New York state), and it wound eastward through, what would eventually become, Massachusetts. Native Americans --primarily the Mohawks in the west and the Pocumtucks in the Connecticut River Valley to the east-- used the trail in their migrations, and they had long-established treaties regarding hunting and fishing rights along its length. Upon the arrival of the English into the Pocumtuck territory, and the Dutch, who were making inroads into Mohawk lands in the lower Hudson River Valley, they realized that political unrest between the tribes would further their own ends, and they began to manipulate one tribe against the other. Eventually a full-scale war broke out, with the Mohawks ultimately gaining the upper hand. Since no one ever names anything after the losers, the path eventually became known as the "Mohawk Trail." With the end of the Indian Wars and the American Revolution, the old trail was gradually rerouted and widened to accommodate wagon traffic between the city of Boston and the interior towns, particularly North Adams.
By the early part of the 20th century people began to appreciate just how beautiful the region encompassing the trail was, so in October of 1914 the Massachusetts State Legislature declared the Mohawk Trail a scenic tourist route.