Bridge of Flowers

Massachusetts

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Bridge of Flowers Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Franklin
Length: 0.1 miles
Trail end points: Water Street (Shelburne Falls) and State Street (Buckland)
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6349361
Trail activities: Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Bridge of Flowers Description

The Bridge of Flowers delights the senses of visitors walking among the trees and blossoms on the old trolley bridge spanning the Deerfield River, which connects two communities in northwestern Massachusetts: Shelburne Falls and Buckland. The 400-foot concrete bridge comes alive every year April 1–October 30 as a garden pathway with flowering plants of all varieties.

The closed-spandrel deck arch bridge originally carried trolley cars between Shelburne Falls and Buckland on the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway from 1908 until 1927, when the railroad folded. The bridge remained, however, as it also carried a water main between the two towns. The bridge was in danger of becoming a weedy eyesore, so the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club took on the task of beautifying the bridge in 1929. Its volunteers have been planting flowers and maintaining the flower beds on the bridge ever since.

Although the bridge deck is 18 feet wide, the pathway is much narrower with the lush garden on both sides. Walkers are encouraged, but bicycles and pets—even those you can carry—are prohibited. The bridge is wheelchair accessible. If you’re on a bike, you can cross the river on adjacent Bridge Street, which provides an excellent view of the Bridge of Flowers.

The bridge offers welcoming gardens at either end: State Street in Buckland and Water Street in Shelburne Falls. Following the path, flower lovers are greeted by an ever-changing variety of bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees that beg for attention. They range from crocus in the early spring to asters in the fall. Once it snows, the bridge is closed behind locked gates because of liability issues until spring.

As the main attraction, the bridge drew a collection of specialty shops, restaurants, bookstores, a coffee shop, and a soda fountain. Nearby is the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, home of car No. 10, the only surviving trolley car from the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway. Dating to 1896, it was rescued by a local farmer who used it as a chicken coop, toolshed, and playhouse for 65 years until the museum acquired it. Now it’s used for rides around the old railway freight yard where the museum keeps other railroad and trolley artifacts.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the west trailhead from I-91, take Exit 26 toward North Adams on MA 2 W/Mohawk Trail. Go 8.3 miles west and turn left onto S. Maple St. Go 0.3 mile and turn left onto Bridge St. In 0.5 mile turn right onto State St. after crossing the road bridge. Look for on-street parking or a parking lot on the right.


To reach the east trailhead from I-91, follow the directions above to Bridge St. In 0.3 mile turn right onto Main St. A municipal parking lot is on the left. The entrance to the Bridge of Flowers is across the parking lot on Water St.


The bridge is open April–October.

Bridge of Flowers Reviews

Well it has been a few years since I last visited, this is one of my favourite finds. It was also my introduction to False Blue Indigo. Quiet simple it is one of those places I will always remember and I've toured some spectacular gardens in Canada, the US and England. There is just something about taking what could have been a eye-sore and making it into something loved for 80 plus years. Cheers.

This bridge is very pretty. It is still beautiful in the Fall. It is on the way to the Hairpin Turn in North Adams. I think everyone on Route 2 on the way up there should stop by.

I stumbled upon Bridge of Flowers while camping in Mass a few years ago. A friend and I were randomly exploring the countryside and noticed a random sign off a random road. "Bridge of Flowers? That could be fun." We headed into town, found a parking spot, and walked to the bridge. The flowers were amazing, beautiful, fragrant and just so well kept. I stayed for a good hour trying to grab the "perfect" shot. But each time I took a picture, I would turn around and find yet another, even more beautiful flower. I can't wait to get back up in the area to enjoy the garden, and to explore the Glacial Potholes (just down the river a bit), for a second time. Jeff C, GetOutsideNJ.com "Not all of Jersey stinks"

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