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The National Scenic Byway Program is a federal transportation program that recognizes and celebrates scenic roads throughout the country. In Massachusetts, eligible roads are officially designated as Scenic Byways through an act of the Legislature. There are five state-designated Scenic Byways in Franklin County, the Mohawk Trail (Route 2), Route 112, Route 116, and Route 122. Additionally, there is one nationally designated Scenic Byway, the Connecticut River Byway (Route 63 and 47) in Franklin County.

Details

Scenic Byways Land Protection Project

With funding awarded through the National Scenic Byway Program, the Scenic Byway Land Protection Project allows the FRCOG funding to work on permanently protecting important scenic, natural and agricultural landscapes along the Scenic Byways in Franklin County. The project is being completed as a cooperative effort working with the Franklin Land Trust, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (DAR), and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game. At the inception of the project, this cooperative effort was defined in an unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding that was crafted and executed between MassDOT, DCRDARFRCOG, and the Franklin Land Trust. To date, a total of 915 acres of landscapes critical to the Mohawk Trail, Connecticut River, and Route 112 Scenic Byways have been permanently protected.

Mohawk Trail Historic Preservation Project

The FRCOG and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) completed the Mohawk Trail Historic Preservation Project to encourage the preservation of historic properties on the Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway. The project had two components: 1) to prepare Historical Survey Forms and/or National Register of Historic Places nomination forms for several properties along the Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway, and 2) to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of developing and administering a revolving loan fund to assist landowners of historically significant properties on the Mohawk Trail.

Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan

Marketing image of a road used to find adventures via the Western Mass Scenic Byways program, with overlay of slogan text, "Slow Roads, Great Adventures."

Route 116 Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan 

The Route 116 Scenic Byway was designated as a Scenic Byway by the Massachusetts Legislature on August 4, 2008. In Franklin County, the Byway travels through the towns of Deerfield, Conway, and Ashfield. It is a scenic drive through rolling farm fields and forested areas into the Berkshire Hills. A Corridor Management Plan was recently completed for the Byway. The plan was a joint effort of the FRCOG, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

Route 116 Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan

Connecticut River Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan Update

The Connecticut River Scenic Byway is both a Federal and State designated Scenic Byway. It is the only federally designated Scenic Byway in Massachusetts. In Franklin County, the Byway travels on Routes 63 and 47 in the towns of Northfield, Erving, Montague, and Sunderland. The Byway travels through the heart of the Connecticut River Valley and the neighboring farmland, floodplains, and historic villages. An updated Corridor Management Plan was completed in 2016.

Connecticut River Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan Update

Staff
Beth Giannini

Beth Giannini

Transportation Program Manager

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