Discover Historic Deerfield and the beautiful Connecticut River Valley from the seat of your bicycle this summer! Historic Deerfield and the Deerfield Inn are teaming up with River’s Edge Cycling to offer a week full of handlebar-view adventures travelling the scenic byways and quiet back roads to some of the valley’s vibrant and charming communities. In addition to great cycling, this tour is rich with opportunities to learn about the natural, historic and cultural distinctions that make this part of Massachusetts so special. Overnight lodging and most meals are included at the award-winning Deerfield Inn in the center of the historic village.
Bicycle the Beautiful Connecticut River Valley
The Connecticut River Valley offers some of the best cycling in America and the Deerfield Bicycle Tour explores many of the regional cycling highlights. Riding days range from 25 to 50 miles along scenic byways, quiet back roads and peaceful bike paths. We'll begin the week with a twenty-five mile introductory tour navigating the pastoral back roads in the lowlands surrounding the river. The introduction wouldn't be complete though without a falcon's-eye view of the valley. We'll ascend (bike, walk or van, you choose) Mt. Sugarloaf in South Deerfield to survey the landscape you'll be traveling through during the week. From there, you can see Amherst, Northampton and many of the other communities you'll visit in the next few days.
Tuesday's ride is themed Brooks, Books and Waterfalls and includes views of six waterfalls and a really fun bookstore. Wednesday we'll head to Northampton and leave time to explore the vibrant community with its dozens of restaurants and shops. Thursday's 50-mile tour leaves the valley behind as riders climb through the hilltowns of Conway and Ashfield on their way to the charming village of Shelburne Falls. Friday's tour, Poets and Peace, visits the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst and the New England Peace Pagoda.
Active Travel and Active Learning
We've built in a variety of fun, optional learning opportunities for riders when they're off the bike. Deerfield, MA was settled in 1669 and the evidence of its rich three and a half centuries of habitation are everywhere. Take a guided walking tour to the Old Burying Ground at the end of Albany Road; learn from a local scholar how the geology and geography of the region determined its future; or learn about local beers at a Wednesday tasting at the Inn. We have even built in some learning destinations while out on your daily rides. The Emily Dickinson homestead, the New England Peace Pagoda, and the Great Falls Discovery Center are just a few of the educational highlights you'll encounter while riding.
The Deerfield Bicycle Tour is the perfect blend of active travel and active learning along with a healthy mix of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
For full details of each day's bicycle rides, visit River's Edge Cycling's website.
Philip Zea, President of Historic Deerfield, welcomes riders to the tour and the town and shares the history and philosophy behind the "best documented town in early America." He'll share insights on Historic Deerfield's dual mission of educating the public about the lifestyles of the diverse people who lived here long ago and of preserving antique buildings and collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts.
Monday, 3:00 PM
Join a Historic Deerfield guide for a stroll along Main Street to Albany Road and the Old Burying Ground. Along the way you'll see how Historic Deerfield interprets more than 300 years of stories that reflect the rich and diverse social, cultural, and economic history of Deerfield and the region.
Tuesday, 3:00 PM
The Deep Geological History of the Connecticut River Valley (June)
Dinosaurs, Dunes, and Drifting Continents (August)
Just when you thought you understood the history of Deerfield we take you back more than 200 million years with a presentation by Steve Winters, Professor of Geology at Holyoke Community College in June and by Richard Little, the founder and owner of Earth View LLC, a geology education services and products company in August. In their presentations Dick and Steve share how geologic forces at work millions of years ago influenced the landscape that we're riding through now.
Tuesday, 7:30 pm
The River Ran Through It: The Deerfield Inn, a Rising Phoenix from Tropical Storm Irene
The Inn you're staying in was badly damaged in 2011 during the flood associated with Tropical Storm Irene. The raging Deerfield River nearly reached Main Street! See images from the devastation and the heroic work to restore the property.
Wednesday, 5:00 pm
Tasting: Contemporary Craft Beers and Ciders of the Valley
"Learn" about some of the Valley's contemporary craft beers and ciders from local experts Alicia Graves and Charlie Olchowski.
Your Deerfield Bicycle Tour registration includes:
- 5 nights lodging at the Deerfield Inn (Sunday through Thursday).
- 5 evening dinners at the Inn (Sunday through Thursday).
- 5 breakfasts at the Inn (Monday through Friday).
- Rest stops each day.
- SAG support each day.
- Marked routes, maps, GPS files and cue sheets for five valley bicycle tours.
- Special learning and social programs each day.
For a single room, add $440. In August, if you would like to extend your stay at the Deerfield Inn through Friday night, August 17, leaving on Saturday, August 18, or Sunday, August 19, you may add a reservation for the extra night below for $200/inclusive. For more information and registration, contact Julie Orvis at email@example.com or (413) 775-7179, register online by clicking the button below, or download a PDF form.
Join the Friends of Historic Deerfield as an individual member for one year for $35 (a $50 value) and receive free admission to Historic Deerfield, discounts at the Museum Store and Deerfield Inn, a member newsletter and Historic Deerfield magazine. The discounted rate does not apply to renewals of current or lapsed members.
A full refund of the registration fee can be obtained if you cancel before 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 25, 2018 for the June tour week and Friday July 13, 2018 for the August tour week.
To view the August tour, click here.