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Recreation is a key sector of the Charlemont economy. The Deerfield River is a major canoeing and kayaking hub. Rafting companies use the exceptional whitewater conditions to attract river enthusiasts to experience wild water rafting; professional rafters use various portions of the river, depending on their level of experience. The Mohawk State Forest, on 6,457 acres, offers a scenic picnic area along the Deerfield River, as well as camping, swimming, fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and cross country skiing. Many of the old Indian trails still exist here, including a portion of the original Mahican-Mohawk Trail footpath. Charlemont has a large variety of seasonal outdoors activities but only a few in-doors activities.

Goal: To maintain, improve and create adequate recreational opportunities for residents and tourists.

Objective 1: Better utilize existing town open space for recreational use.

1.1 Form a "Friends of the River" Committee to review the following issues: identify options for a private or public beach on the Deerfield River for town residents (identify a public parcel on river that could be used for this purpose and the feasibility of using the parcel for the beach) and officially designate river access points along the Deerfield River within the Charlemont borders.

1.2 Develop a walking path/greenway from the fairgrounds to the village center, including the Mill Brook and the Bissell Bridge.

Objective 2: Increase year round recreational opportunities for younger residents.

2.1 Create a Recreation Committee to increase and improve existing after-school programs for children (music programs, increased library hours, affordable ski program).

A Recreation Committee will investigate the possibility of starting activities like football, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, and gymnastics on the school grounds after classes end. The committee could identify new activities that could be started with the help of school children. The Hawlemont School has facilities that could be used for after school recreation activities. The Recreation Committee could also look into possible sources of funding to obtain land and/or buildings for public recreational activities.

2.2 Establish a network of multipurpose trails that can be used year round for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.

At the Public Vision Forum and other meetings with town citizens, it was suggested that several committees be formed to create and maintain the trail network. Residents believe that important historical places like the fairgrounds, the village center, and the Bissell Bridge will be the main attractions. A committee should identify landowners willing to help develop this greenway.

2.3 Promote recreational uses on existing state owned land.

Objective 3: Provide safe and adequate bike and pedestrian path connections in town.

3.1 Form a committee of people interested in identifying, maintaining and promoting potential bike paths in town.

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 138 and 138A, provide a basis for "trail development and protection activities." Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 723 and 564, provide authorization and funding for a range of trail types including pedestrian, auto, and bicycle (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1990). Under these laws, the Department of Environmental Management has acquired trails throughout the state for recreational use.

For the handicapped and the elderly, the most favorable recreational sites will be the ones that are accessible by car, with wide, stable paths surfaced with asphalt, concrete or wood tiles. There should be signs on the trails to inform people about the level of difficulty, trail surface, length and width. This information should be available to the public in such strategic places as the Town Hall, the Post Office, or the Charlemont Inn.

Objective 4: Explore the expansion of the Mahican-Mohawk Hiking Trail on its way from the Connecticut River to the Hudson.

4.1 Collaborate with the Deerfield River Watershed Association to extend the existing trail by identifying parcels and landowners for new sections, to help maintain existing sections in town, and to promote the trail as a recreational attraction for both residents and tourists.

Town Calendar
Mon, Jun 17, 2024, 7:00 pm
Town Hall
Posted to: Town Hall
  • Attached File: Charlemont Agricultural Commission 2024-06-17 Agenda
  • Tue, Jun 18, 2024, 11:00 am
    Tyler Memorial Library
    Thu, Jul 11, 2024, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Posted to: Town Hall
  • Attached File: 612517PIMFlyer