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Scenic Rides in Western Mass.

This past weekend gave us a foretaste of summer. While many tackled outdoor gardening projects, others ventured into local beautiful open spaces. Adult Art and Culture staff logged their scenic picks for you:

Bev Nadler‘s Pick:

Forest Park: I have taken walks through this beautiful park for many years and I especially enjoy it when everything is in bloom. On a recent phone call with J member Myrna Robbins, she mentioned that she had recently taken a drive through Forest Park and that it really gave her a much needed boost. Myrna said, ”On a nice sunny day it makes you feel really good and the park is as beautiful as always, especially near the Barney Estate. Get out of your car and enjoy a walk around the Lily Ponds.” According to Myrna, if you enter through the Sumner Avenue entrance, they are not currently charging an entrance fee.

Deb Krivoy‘s Pick

Jacob’s Ladder Trail: From Westfield, head out Route 20 West and explore this gorgeous drive, which runs about 35 miles through the foothills of the Berkshires, from Russell to the center of Lee. I like this drive because there’s a little bit of everything: the winding Westfield River, open fields, small towns, forests, wetlands and rock ledges. If you enjoy history and hiking, you can stop in Chester to check out the Keystone Arches, a series of stone arch bridges built in the mid-1800s when the railways of eastern Massachusetts and Albany, NY were connected. It’s a moderately demanding walk on a cleared trail that starts from Middlefield Road in Chester.

Nicole Longhi‘s Pick

Quabbin Reservoir: Located in Belchertown, the Quabbin Reservoir is a scenic and historic place to go for a drive, go for a walk or take a bike ride. This is also a prime location for any interested anglers. Free and open to the public from 6:30 AM – 6:00 PM, they are currently requesting that people enter through the middle and eastern entrances instead of the main gate, both of which can be found on Route 9. This is one of my favorite spots in Western Mass because it combines some of my favorite things: rolling hills, tranquil meadows, forested areas, and peaceful shorelines.

What is your favorite open space in Western Mass.?