Franklin County: A Destination Not to Miss

Franklin County is a destination of choice for many locals.

It’s long been a well kept secret of locals with adventure at its heart, and good food in its soul.

If you were to regard Franklin County as simply traditional New England towns and farm fields, you would be missing a lot.

These historic 17th & 18th C. towns have a vibrant energy, a progressive edge and plenty to keep your interest. The unique character of Franklin County blends the strength of local farmers, artistic creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit.

With a stop in Greenfield or Turners Falls you’ll see unique businesses and imaginative shops popping up (Loot, Upper Bend Deli, Plum, Innovintage), creative redesign of industrial spaces, 

A river running through the middle of an area.

cultural arts flourishing (Shea Theater, Hawks and Reed, Green River Festival), and a revitalized energy running through historic downtown streets.

Head out from any of the towns into the surrounding green space to find a world of outdoor activities. The tough part is choosing from great hiking, white water rafting, kayaking, renowned mountain biking, and road or gravel cycling; as well as swimming, tubing, and nordic or alpine skiing seasonally. The geography of the region includes several large rivers (the Connecticut and the Deerfield), Mt Sugarloaf, hilltop orchards, misty forests, and ample farmland.

Don’t overlook the food, there’s a wealth of locally grown and produced food. Franklin County has a variety of locally owned cafes to choose from (Shelburne Falls Coffee, Mocha Maya, The Lady 

A man in a kayak is riding through some water
Killigrew Cafe), a number of fantastic bakeries (Rise Above, Sweet Lucy’s, Adam’s Donuts), and delicious Mexican, vegetarian and French restaurants. Each sources ingredients locally, from the smallest deli (Delicatesse and Wild Roots) to upscale dining (Blue Heron, Hope & Olive, The Farm Table, Gypsy Apple, The Alvah Stone) and local brew pubs (People’s Pint). There are outstanding food producers throughout Franklin County. Driving down a beautiful road you’ll pass Pekarskis Sausage, known for their their kielbasa, South River Miso, Real Pickles, and Clarkdale Fruit Orchard.

You’re likely to work up a thirst while enjoying the outdoors. There’s an incredible selection of craft breweries, ranging from small producers like Honest Weight and Brick and Feather to veteran brewers Berkshire Brewing Co. (BBC to locals) and recent arrival Treehouse Brewery. Don’t miss the cider producers in Franklin County; it’s one of the top regions for hard 

A glass of beer on the table
cider in the world. A cidery like West County in Colrain is known for their heirloom apple varietals, others like Bear Swamp Orchard are organic and wild fermented. There is a CiderTrail to guide you, or you can wander on your own. One more local beverage not to miss is Katalyst Kombucha which comes in an assortment of flavors including ginger and hops. Make Franklin County your destination, then just decide how long to stay and explore. And if you happen to get lost, just ask a local.