Fall Road Trip Through The Mohawk Trail in The Berkshires, MA
The Mohawk Trail, a route that the Native Americans used to trade with Atlantic, Upstate New York, and other tribes, turns 100 years old. Today it is known as Massachusetts Route 2 and it is one of the most scenic drives you can take in the East Coast, especially during the fall. The peak for foliage season is between the first and second week of October and I had to take the 3.5 hour drive from New Jersey to photograph it.
I was able to convince my darling friend Corine of ComplicatedMama.com to join me on this fun day trip. We left at 4:30AM and arrived to Williamstown, MA just as the town itself was waking up.
The following is a collection of photographs from the day. I shot all the images with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR with 18-55mm STM Lens (read my first impressions) and will be using this camera for the entire month of October (2014).
The thing one tends to forget about sunrises during the autumn especially, is that they give off a magical glow and unique burst of pastel colors that we rarely see any other time of the day. Combine this with fog and the scenes are like paintings. No amount of photography can truly capture what it feels like to be in it.
Start exploring the Mohawk Trail at Williams College, in the Northern Berkshires. Get out an explore this really cute college town, with its own museum of art as well as a Gothic church, Thompson Memorial Church, built in 1904. We had a wonderful lunch at Hops and Vines on Water Street and enjoyed strolling around. On weekdays, it’s pretty quiet, but there is a lot more happening on the weekend – it is also harder to get a hotel reservation and there is also more traffic.
The trail let us right into Western Gateway Heritage State Park, and because we were visiting during a cloudy weekday, there were barely any other visitors around, not many cars, and it felt as if we had the area all to ourselves. This made for wonderful photographic moments.
The funniest moment was when we decided to hike in search of Money Brook Falls. .75 miles the sign read. “How hard can that be?” we thought. So we took on the trail, Corine in wedge sneakers (at least they were sneakers) and my in moccasins…because, why not. Turns out the trail was a lot more difficult than we thought, forcing us to hiked over trees, near cliff sides, while slipping on falling acorns. We worked up a sweat and laughed plenty. Especially when we got to the waterfall and saw what was there.
Still, it was worth it.
We decided to not hike anymore and instead finish the drive up to Whitcomb Summit. The fog started falling and followed us all the way there. It was a bummer in that we weren’t able to really see anything, but as a photographer, I think fog is one of the most beautiful elements to photograph in. With each second of its creeping towards me, the images I captured kept changing in tone, light, and effect. I especially love the one I got of Corine on the road – she’s an awesome model!
We stayed touring the area a lot longer than I had expected, and still didn’t see everything I had in mind because we gave so much of our time to the state park. We did this road trip in one day, but I would really recommend at least two just so you can take it all in at a slower pace.
To follow the trail, check out these Mohawk Trail driving tours and make sure you have plenty of gas in your car, it can be a couple of miles between gas stations. Also note, the beginning of October is peak season for foliage, so get out there!
Many thanks to my friend Corine for embracing the Girl Gone Travel spirit of adventure with me!
Check out the behind the scenes on my Storify Exploring The Mohawk Trail.