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Stories

Walk Franklin County

West New Salem Walk Route – New Salem, Mass.

The West New Salem walk route is a 3.4-mile roundtrip walk set back from Route 202 in New Salem, Massachusetts. The walk is featured as a part of the Franklin County Walk initiative encouraging Franklin County residents to explore scenic walks for fitness and health. This walk will not disappoint walkers in search of natural beauty as they meander through quiet back roads and travel around Poor Farm Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, part of a large expanse of conservation land in New Salem. The sanctuary provides forest habitat for warblers and ground nesting birds as well as large mammals, including bobcats, black bears, and moose. 

The walk route itself switches from paved road to narrow dirt roads in the thick of the woods, traveling up a moderate incline and then working its way back down. Depending on walkers’ abilities, they may find the moderate incline and rocky dirt roads challenging; however, there are beautiful places to stop and take in the surroundings. The route also gives walkers the opportunity to visit the New Salem Common Historic District. Featured points of interests for visitors include the New Salem General Store, New Salem Cemetery, New Salem Town Hall, and the 1794 Meetinghouse. 

Sept 2017 Walk Franklin County New Salem photo web

Directions to New Salem Center from eastbound (or Greenfield area): Take Route MA-2 E/MA-2A E heading toward Orange. Take Exit 15 MA-122 toward Orange/Worcester. Shortly after taking exit, turn right onto MA-122 S (signs for New Salem/Worcester). Take a slight right onto US-202 S following the road for approximately four miles. Wendell Road will be on the right-hand side, and there are opportunities to park alongside road.

Click here to view more photos and find links to download a map of this and other walking trails across Franklin County.