Hadley is a small town of 4,200 in the Pioneer Valley, in Western Massachusetts. Despite its small population, it has a reasonable commercial strip that harbors a few malls, providing a more mainstream shopping experience than its larger neighbors, Amherst and Northampton.
Hadley is a residential and agricultural town, having the most farmland of any Pioneer Valley town. It is bordered on the west by the Connecticut River. There are two village centers, North Hadley, a charming New England settlement, and Hadley Center, with its several historic homes. The town center has a large village green surrounded with stately colonial homes.
Hadley is in the Pioneer Valley, known as the crossroads of New England because of its strategic position along the Connecticut River and its excellent transportation facilities. The Massachusetts Turnpike connects the region to Boston and to Albany, New York. Interstate 91 provides direct access to Hartford, Connecticut, and to Brattleboro, Vermont and points north.
Interstate Route 91 to Northampton. Other highways are State Routes 9, 47, and 116.
Amtrak's passenger rail service between Montreal and Washington, D.C. is accessible from neighboring Amherst. Freight rail service is available from the Springfield Terminal Railway. Phone: (508) 663-1073
Hadley is a member of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA), which offers fixed route service between Northampton, Hadley, Amherst, and Williamsburg. The PVTA also offers paratransit services to the elderly and disabled through the Council on Aging.
The bike path crosses parts of Hadley, and it's worth taking it all the way down to the former railroad bridge over the Connecticut River. In season, you can watch the campus crew in their early morning runs. Cars are very courteous of bikes, despite the lack of sidewalks.
Taxis are available (check a local telephone book) but they're not so local and can take a while to get there.
Most people have cars, and that's your best bet. There is a car rental right off the highway in Hadley.
Walking is possible, but it will take you a while to get around, and note that most of Hadley has no sidewalks.
- Porter Phelps-Huntington House Museum, ☏ . May 15-Oct 15: Sa-W 1PM-4:30PM. Built in 1752.
- [dead link] Hadley Farm Museum, Junction of Routes 9 and 47. May-Oct: W-Sa 11AM-4PM, Su 1PM-4PM. Houses a large collection of early New England farm machinery which illustrates the area's early way of life.
Hadley is a beautiful rural town. There are few official attractions, but those brave enough to wander will discover beautiful scenes just around the bend.
For example, a trip down Rocky Hill Road will have you pass fields which grow corn, pumpkins, or cabbage in different years. A minute or two farther will bring you to an old barn which now dries tobacco. On your right you'll pass a few homegrown farmstands, in season, offering vegetables or flowers. The trusting atmosphere is evident- nobody is there manning the stand. Drive further down this meandering road, past a field of sheep and some houses all but hidden behind shrub. One empty lot is an incredible sight at twilight, as thousands of fireflies call it home. A few minutes further down Rocky Hill Road bring you past an old cemetery, and finally to the border of Amherst as you near the campus stadium and see the towers up ahead.
Any route will take you on a wonderful adventure -- perhaps to pick strawberries, go to a tag sale, or simply admire an opulent tree running through a rainbow before dropping its leaves in fall.
- Joseph Skinner State Park, Route 47, ☏ . Hiking and picnicking on 390 acres. Spectacular views from the 930-foot summit and from Summit House, which was built in 1851.
All along Massachusetts Route 9 there are various businesses. Of note are two malls, right next to each other:
- Mountain Farms Mall, which includes Wal-Mart, Barnes and Nobel, Old Navy, and Whole Foods Supermarket.
- Hampshire Mall, which includes Target, Best Buy, and a multiplex movie theater.
- Esselon Cafe, 99 Russell St, ☏ . Great place for brunch, outdoor seating, free Wi-Fi.
- Gohyang Korean Restaurant, 111 Russell St.
- Comfort Inn, 237 Russell St (Rt 9), ☏ .
- Holiday Inn Express, 400 Russell St (Rt 9), ☏ .
- Econo Lodge, 329 Russell St (Rt 9), ☏ .
- Hampton Inn, 24 Bay Rd, ☏ .
|Routes through Hadley|
|Pittsfield ← Northampton ←||W E||→ Amherst → Worcester|