Points of Interest
The Mass Dash will take place on Saturday, July 16th, 2016. Starting shortly after sunrise, teams of six runners each will begin their adventures, running 100 miles in a non-stop relay race comprising 18 legs across Massachusetts--- from the Berkshires to UMass-Amherst. And along the route of the Mass Dash, there are many points of interest that don’t have anything to do with running:
DCR Mount Greylock: At 3,491 feet, the summit of Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. Rising above the surrounding Berkshire landscape, dramatic views of 60 to 90 miles distant may be seen. Mt. Greylock became Massachusetts' first wilderness state park, acquired by the Commonwealth in 1898, to preserve its natural environment for public enjoyment. Wild and rugged yet intimate and accessible, Mount Greylock rewards the visitor exploring this special place of scenic and natural beauty.
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art: MASS MoCA is the largest center for contemporary arts in the United States. The institution is dedicated to the creation and presentation of provocative visual and performing arts pieces, and of works that blur conventional distinctions between artistic disciplines. In addition, MASS MoCA functions as a laboratory for the contemporary arts, fostering experimentation by artists, encouraging collaborations among institutions, and allowing visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process. Listed in the National Historic Register, the site's 26 buildings on thirteen acres encompass a vast complex of 19th-century factory buildings and occupy nearly one-third of North Adams’ downtown business district. In this way, the history of MASS MoCA's site spans more than two hundred years of economic, industrial, and architectural development that traces the trajectory of industrialism in New England, while its art previews that to come.
DCR Savoy Mountain State Forest: Located atop the Hoosac Mountain Range, an extension of the Green Mountains of Vermont and the first mountain barrier encountered rising west of the Connecticut River Valley, Savoy Mountain State Forest was created in 1918 with the purchase of 1,000 acres of abandoned farmland. Settlement of the remote towns of Florida and Savoy by farmers began in the early 19th century, and the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel from 1851 to 1875 for railroad transportation created a momentary population boom. After its completion the tunnel, many workers moved down in the valley to Adams or North Adams to work in the woolen mills, or headed west to join in the great land rush for better farmland. Scenic North Pond, with wooded edges and hills rising in the distance, offers a tranquil place to swim, picnic and fish.
Deerfield River runs for 73 miles from southern Vermont through northwestern Massachusetts to the Connecticut River. The Deerfield was historically influential in the settlement of western Franklin County, Massachusetts, and its namesake town. The river joins the Connecticut in Greenfield downstream of Turners Falls. The Deerfield is one of the most heavily used rivers in the country with, on average, a dam every 7 miles for its entire length. The Deerfield has several key places for whitewater kayaking, canoeing, tubing, swimming, camping, and jumping off the cliffs (that scale upwards to about forty feet) that surround it. In Shelburne Falls, the glacial potholes and the Bridge of Flowers are popular tourist attractions around the river.
DCR D.A.R. State Forest: In 1929, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated 1,020 acres to the Commonwealth for a state forest in Goshen. Since then, more than 750 additional acres have been acquired to include Upper and Lower Highland Lakes, which offer a popular swimming beach and shady picnic area. Located in the eastern foothills of the Berkshires, discover 15 miles of mixed-use trails through northern hardwood-conifer forest. Climb the Goshen fire tower for spectacular views of the Connecticut River Valley and into five states.
Williamsburg is a scenic, quiet little town at the foothills of the Berkshires. The current population descends from the agrarian settlers who cleared and harvested the hardwood forest in the latter eighteenth century. These hearty pioneers intermarried with the influx of industrialists and immigrant mill workers who followed the industrial revolution up the river in the early-nineteenth century. Modern-day Williamsburg, with centers at "Burgy" and Haydenville, is populated by educators, artists, professionals and the many others who have come to enjoy the peace and tranquility of this rural New England town of approximately twenty-six hundred residents. The Brewmaster’s Tavern sits in the heart of “Burgy”, and is a highly recommended pit-stop along the race route of the Mass Dash, serving quality fare and the fine handcrafted beers and ales of Opa-Opa Brewing Company, a proud Partner of the Mass Dash.
Northampton celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2004. The Town of Nonotuck, originally, was granted its Charter in 1654; the City of Northampton was incorporated in 1884. The City is home to the oldest continuously running agricultural fair in the United States held each September at the Three County Fairgrounds. Northampton was also the site of the famous Shay’s Rebellion, a crisis point in early post-revolutionary America. Smith College is one of five large colleges and universities located in the Pioneer Valley region, making education an important part of our culture and economics. Northampton is renowned as an arts and entertainment destination in Western Massachusetts, named “Number One Best Small Arts Town in America” and one of the “Top 25 Arts Destinations” in the nation by AmericanStyle magazine. As a result, Northampton is home to internationally known musicians, artists, writers, and performers presenting their work in local theaters and galleries. The Academy of Music is believed to be the sixth oldest theatre in the United States, and is the country’s oldest municipally owned theatre.
University of Massachusetts at Amherst: UMass Amherst, a proud Partner of the Mass Dash, was born in 1863 as a land-grant agricultural college set on 310 rural acres with four faculty members, four wooden buildings, 56 students and a curriculum combining modern farming, science, technical courses, and liberal arts. Over time, the curriculum, facilities, and student body outgrew the institution’s original mission. In 1892 the first female student enrolled and graduate degrees were authorized, and in 1947, “Mass State” became the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. By 1964, undergraduate enrollment jumped to 10,500, as Baby Boomers came of age. The turbulent political environment also brought a “sit-in” to the newly constructed Whitmore Administration Building. By the end of the decade, the completion of Southwest Residential Complex, the Alumni Stadium and the establishment of many new academic departments gave UMass Amherst much of its modern stature. The later 20th century saw the emergence of UMass Amherst as a major research facility with the construction of the Lederle Graduate Research Center and the Conte National Polymer Research Center. UMass Amherst entered the 21st century as the flagship campus of the state’s five-campus University system, an enrollment of 24,000 students, and a national and international reputation for excellence. Of course, Amherst is also the home of Amherst College and Hampshire College.
DCR Quabbin Reservoir: The single-largest body of water in Massachusetts, the Quabbin Reservoir is also one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. Created in the 1930’s by the construction of two huge earthen dams and the engineered flooding of the Swift River Valley (the entire population of four towns had to be relocated and the towns were then legally abolished by the Commonwealth), the reservoir is now fed by the three branches of the Swift River and the Ware River, covering 39 square miles and having 181 miles of shoreline.