Recreation And Agriculture


Northfield Recreation The Gateway Towns of the Northern Pioneer Valley offer a wealth of state forests, conservation land, hiking, X-C ski and snowshoe trails and bike paths in season. In the warmer months, our unique access to the Connecticut River creates the opportunity for a variety of water-based recreational activities, such as kayaking, canoeing and motor-boating.

  • A list of hikes in the Northfield area can be found at here.
  • Third Annual Great River Challenge Off-Road Triathlon, October 2, 2016
    A USA Triathlon-sanctioned, non-traditional "paddle-run-mountain bike" triathlon held at the beautiful Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center in Northfield. The Center offers a waterfront park on the Connecticut River for the paddling leg of the race and 25 miles of groomed trails for the running and biking components. Indoor restrooms, indoor and outdoor picnic spaces and a vendor area where we will have registration, food, community groups and gear tables, live music and family-oriented activities. Visit for more information and our Facebook page


The Connecticut River supports some of the richest farmland in the world, and agriculture and horticulture thrive in the three gateway towns. Visitors can spend a day browsing farm stands and greenhouses brimming with local produce, herbs and beautiful plants and flowers. You can pick your own berries in season, and purchase unique farm products such as artisanal cheeses, maple syrup, and flours ground from local wheat. Several farms raise their own beef cattle, dairy cows, sheep and goats. In Gill, you can visit an emu farm. Listings for a number local producers appear under "Locally Grown" and on a map created by the Northfield Agricultural Commission.

Two of the three towns have farmers markets once a week during the growing season. In Bernardston, the farmers market is located in the United Church parking lot on 58 Church Street every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the one in Northfield takes place on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the front lot105 Main Street. For a list of farmers markets, farm stands, CSA's, pick-your-own farms and farm-to-table restaurants, visit and search on Northfield, Gill or Bernardston. We're an ideal location from which to take in regional festivals and fairs. Information on area events can be found on the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce website.