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The Mohawk Trail

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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.

Understand

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.

Get in

The modern Mohawk Trail, officially Massachusetts Route 2, runs from Boston, Massachusetts, to Buffalo, New York, which makes it easily accessible from almost any direction.

Beginning from the Greater New York City/New Jersey or Pennsylvania area:

  • Pick up 684 North and follow it until you hit the Route 22 intersection.
  • From there take Route 39 North.
  • Follow Route 39 to 55 East and about 2 miles later you'll pick up Route 7 North.
  • Over the line in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Route 7 turns into Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Start looking for the signs to Mount Greylock.
  • The turnoff at Rockwell Road comes up quickly, but if you miss it you can turn around in the tourist information parking lot.
  • When you’re Coming down Greylock, you'll follow the Notch road to Route 2.

By motorcycle

The Mohawk Trail has recently drawn the attention of people who enjoy riding motorcycles. The scenic route has been described by riders in the area as one of the most enjoyable paths in the north east. Whether you are looking for a relaxing ride to take in the scenery, or you are seeking a thrill ride through winding roads and hills, the Mohawk Trail is a must for motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages.

Prepare

Keep in mind that helmet laws vary from state to state. Depending on where you are traveling from, there may be no helmet law in your state. Even if you usually don't wear a helmet, it is a good idea to bring one with you and check with the state laws when crossing boarders, and make sure to wear a helmet. If you intend on bringing a passenger along with you, all passengers must be wearing a helmet at all times. Only motorcyclists who have held their license for over 1 year may have a passenger on the back of their bike in the state of Massachusetts.

Highlights

There are numerous highlights during your ride through the Mohawk Trail that will ensure your enjoyment.

Do

See

Eat

Sleep

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