Amherst Wire

Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This week’s toasty temperatures are a testament to the fact that spring has finally decided to grace us with its glorious presence. The sun drew out flocks of hibernating students to bask in the warmth, and a number of young, delicate flowers were transplanted into pots that have been barren all winter long.

It is unfortunate, however, that the most beautiful season manifests itself on the brink of the dreaded finals week. Nonetheless, it is imperative that students take the time to enjoy the weather and detox during this demanding time of year.

Here are five activities in and around the Pioneer Valley that you can immerse yourself in for some fun and relaxation:

  1. Smith College Botanic Garden

(Priya Bikkani/Amherst Wire)

The Smith College Botanic Garden in Northampton boasts a wide variety of flora from nearly every continent in the world. Here, you can find yourself amidst giant cacao trees (where chocolate comes from), visually overwhelming verdant hues, and a range of plant species with unpronounceable Latin names. Be sure to check out The Succulent House, lodging some incredibly cute and prickly plants from the desert. The best part is that seeing all of these beautiful plants and exploring the garden is completely free!

2. Sugarloaf Mountain

Located in South Deerfield, Mount Sugarloaf is one hike you have to take as a Five College student in the Pioneer Valley. A 15-minute drive from campus, you can climb up via foot or bike. The summit offers unparalleled views of the Connecticut River. Take a break from studying this weekend and explore Mount Sugarloaf to get some fresh, spring air and decompress.

3. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory

 

I have a childhood friend who has an inexplicable fear of butterflies, moths and other such winged insects. If you aren’t conflicted by such a phobia, I suggest you take a trip to this conservatory in Deerfield which houses many species of domestic and exotic butterflies. This glass conservatory is heated up to 80°F, maintaining a temperate climate for its tropical flora and fauna, mostly butterflies and moths. You are able to walk around and take in the beautiful butterflies in their habitat. Butterfly conservation is important as these beautiful pollinators also serve as important indicators of ecosystem health and habitat.

4. Quabbin Reservoir

The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts and serves as one of the primary suppliers of water to Boston. It covers a vast area of nearly 40 miles and the closest access to UMass is via Belchertown. Enjoy this reservoir’s serenity and its beautiful landscape. Perhaps, it is also worthwhile to revel in how lucky we are to have access to potable water, a resource that is rapidly growing scarce.

5. Bridge of Flowers

As the name suggests, this is a bridge in Shelburne Falls that is covered in flowers. The best time to visit is between June and mid-October when the flowers are in full bloom. However, it is still scenic any time of the year and its location in a classic New England village just lends to the charm. Bring your partner along for a romantic date or visit with some friends to this rather Instagram-worthy spot.

Whether you are a soon-to-be grad or expect to return next year, take some time to explore the Pioneer Valley. It is an important cultural center that is rife with history, and you deserve to spend a few hours away from the library to see it.  

Email Priya at sbikkani@umass.edu 

 

Facebook Comments

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    Nursing students, local nurses divided on ballot Question 1

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    Meet the local farmers behind the country’s best dining halls

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    Take a hike: Admire fall foliage from Mount Holyoke summit

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    UMass employees showcase their artwork at Building Bridges gallery

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    Top five: Northampton cafes for a sweeter coffee break

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    UMass updates: 5 things you missed over the summer

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    Top 5: Popular Amherst eateries

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    The state of legalization: Effects of marijuana dispensaries on state welfare

  • Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition

    Around the Valley

    Farewell to Hadley: Reflections and remembrances on a bizarre home of my own

  • Around the Valley

    Promising potential of the Pioneer Valley in the viticulture world: What makes Western Mass. grapes special

The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department
Spring checklist: Pioneer Valley edition