Appalachian Trail hikers enjoy their time walking through the Berkshires, but strolling through hiker-friendly towns such as Dalton, Massachusetts, is pleasant too.
Dalton is an old town noted for the mills built there on the East Branch of the Housatonic River. One, Crane & Company, remains today. Crane was founded in 1801 and still holds the honor of being the largest employer in town.
The company is famous because it is the only supplier of the unique linen and cotton paper that is used in the printing of America's paper money, among other nations worldwide. You are welcome to visit their museum, but they do not give samples. Sorry.
You don't have to walk very far down Depot Street toward town to feel the love. Take the pleasant yellow home at 153 Depot Street, for example. The closer I looked, the more I liked it. You will too, if you pass that way.
You can almost feel the ice cream calling you from Sweet Pea's, right across the street from the Housatonic River.
This is the perfect spot to take a few zero minutes on your way to Maine or Georgia.
Turn left on your way past Sweet Pea's onto Main Street and relish the breeze from the river as you cross the bridge. (Sorry, Damascus and Hot Springs, Dalton also hosts the Appalachian Trail along a bridge on Main Street.)
You'll find good food (including veggie burgers at Angelina's Subs) and free Internet at the library a bit farther down Main Street.
No town is perfect, including Dalton. During my brief visit there, I was amazed that busy intersections didn't have stop signs. High Street -- the road to the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail -- didn't seem to have any street signs at all.
Thankfully, a postal worker (or to be politically correct, a "personperson") laughed when we asked her how we could find High Street. Seems we were already on the unmarked High Street.
Everyone has his or her own favorite spot or two along the Appalachian Trail. The nine-mile hike in Massachusetts between Dalton and Cheshire is tremendously appealing.
That stretch might be where you feel the calling to do the entire Trail. Hike it, if you dare.
You never know who you might meet along the way.
Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer
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