This weekend’s Daily Hampshire Gazette featured a front page story on agrotourism in the Pioneer Valley, farmers opening their farms to visitors for direct sale of goods, tours of the farm, and in some cases, farm stays. Visiting farms by bike adds another way to appreciate the landscape.
I’ve mentioned the beautiful farm land in this area numerous times.This is the perfect time of year to get out and take your children to see the places where their food come from. The colors are lush, the air is clear, and you can get a delicious snack or ice cream to fuel the way home.
Through the end of October and into November, visits to farms by bike is a great weekend activity.
A good resource for finding farms which welcome visitors is the Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture, CISA, web site, where you can search for farm stands by location. CISA also has a page where you can search and find maps for farms which open up to visitors in various ways, including tours, cafes, and even corn mazes.
Towns to check out with easy biking are Hatfield, Whately, Sunderland, Hadley, Deerfield.
More challenging, but highly rewarding riding can be found around farms in Southampton, Westhampton, Ashfield, and Shelburne Falls. As with most riding, route selection is key to having the level of ride you want in terms of distance and hills.
One of my favorite places to ride is River Road through Hatfield, Whately, and on up to Sunderland. The road is flat, there’s little traffic, and the scenery is outstanding. There are numerous places to stop for snacks and treats like ice cream. My son Quinn and I stopped at Enterprise Farm in Whately on our trip this past summer and were greeting warmly. Enterprise Farm is having an event Saturday, October 30th to celebrate their Grand Re-Opening.
Ride your bike there, or to any of the many farms in the Pioneer Valley, and enjoy a beautiful Fall day in the Pioneer Valley.