Whether you’re looking for a family day trip or an Instagram worthy back drop, you’re going to fall in love with one of Western Massachusetts’ best kept secrets, the Bridge of Flowers.
Scroll on to learn more about this must see location.
Bridge of Flowers History
This flower covered bridge is tucked away in the small Western Massachusetts village of Shelburne Falls. First built as a trolley bridge in 1908, the 400-foot bridge was used to transport raw materials from the neighboring town, Buckland, across the Deerfield River.
As technology progressed, and trolleys fell out of fashion, the bridge became obsolete by 1927. Just two short year later, Antoinette and Walter Burnham saw the bridge from their yard, and were inspired to save the bridge from its inevitable future of decay.
Mrs. Burnham put out an ad in the local paper seeking volunteers to help bring her idea to life and the Shelburne Falls Women’s Club answered. In April 1929 the Bridge of Flowers was created and is now home to more than 500 varieties of colorful flowers sitting over the Deerfield River.
It’s a magical sight as the water sparkles and the flowers dance in the breeze. Open only between April and October, this hidden gem is a must-see.
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When to visit the Bridge of Flowers
The bridge is open from April 1 to October 31, 24-hours a day. There is no entrance fee to enjoy this scenic walk, but donations are accepted to benefit the garden’s upkeep.
While there are blooms from the time the bridge opens until it closes, in my opinion, the best time to visit the Bridge of Flowers is in late May/ early June. The weather tends to be more consistent than early spring and more flower varieties are in bloom.
Bridge of Flowers Directions & Parking
I91 (N or S): take exit 26 towards Greenfield. At the rotary, take the exit towards Route 2 for the Mohawk Trail. Follow for 8 miles and take a left onto South Maple Street and then another left onto Bridge Street.
Parking is available along the street near Salmon Falls Marketplace. Also, on your left, just before the railroad tracks, is a large parking area. There will be signs to guide you.
Places to Eat Near the Bridge of Flowers
Shelburne Falls is a historic village filled with lots of charm and even better food. After walking the bridge, grab a bite at the West End Pub, a quirky eatery just a few steps from the bridge’s entrance. This upscale pub features locally sourced favorites with amazing views of the river and mountains.
The Gypsy Apple Bistro is another fantastic spot for top notch dishes. The Gyspy Apple features fine French cuisines in a relaxed atmosphere with seasonal menus that change weekly. Other great bites in town include:
Other Attractions near The Bridge of Flowers
This historic and charming village is also home to the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, a small operation run solely by volunteers. The museum is filled with historical, unique artifacts from the period. Visitors can also take a short ride on the authentic, refurbished trolley for just $4 a person.
- Glacial Potholes
- Deerfield River
- Mohawk Trail
- Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens
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Flowers in Bloom at The Bridge of Flowers
The Bridge of Flowers is home to 500 varieties of flowers that bloom throughout the spring and summer months. Here is a quick look at some of my favorites you can spot in each month:
April: Iris reticulata, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Leucojum, Muscari, Bellis perennis, Helleborus, rimula / Primrose
May: Hyacinth, Muscari / Grape Hyacinth, Leucojum / Snowflake, Tulips, Anemonella thalictroides ‘Cameo’, Dicentra / Bleeding Heart, Iris cristata, Iris – medium height, Primula / Primrose, Syneilesis / Shredded Umbrella Plant or Woodland Poppy, Thermopsis caroliniana / Carolina Lupine
June: Amsonia / Blue Milkweed, Anemonella thalictroides ‘Cameo’, Aquilegia / Columbine, Aubrieta x hybrida ‘Axcent Deep Purple’, Baptisia leucantha (White), Bellis perennis / English Daisy, Brunnera / Siberian Bugloss, Campanula / Bellflower, Centaurea montana / Mountain Bluet / Cornflower, Cerastium tomentosa / Snow-In-The-Summer, Delphinium / Larkspur, Dianthus/Pinks, Dicentra / Bleeding Heart, Digitalis / Foxglove, Filipendula vulgaris ‘Flore Pleno’ / Meadowsweet, Iris germanica / Bearded Iris, Geranium / Cranesbill, Knautia macedonia / Field Scabious, Lonicera sempervirens / Honeysuckle, Lupinus / Lupine, Lychnis arkwrightii / Catchfly / Campion, Mertensia virginica / Virginia Bluebells, Paeonia / Peony, Papaver orientale / Oriental Poppy, Rosa / Rose, Trollius / Globeflower, Veronica austriaca ‘Crater Lake Blue’ / Speedwell
July: Achillea / Yarrow, Alchemilla mollis / Lady’s mantle, Aquilegia / Columbine, Clematis, Coreopsis / Tickseed, Delphinium / Larkspur, Dianthus / Pinks, Digitalis / Foxglove (biennial), Filipendula rubra / Meadowsweet / Queen-of-the-Prairie, Geranium / Cranesbill, Gypsophilia / Baby’s Breath, Heliopsis / Oxeye ‘Lorraine Sunshine’, Hemerocallis / Daylily, Heuchera / Coral Bells, Hosta / Plantain Lily, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Hydrangea petiolaris / Climbing Hydrangea, Knautia / Field Scabious, Lavandula / Lavender, Leucanthemum / Shasta Daisy, Liatris spicata / Gayfeather / Blazing Star, Lilium / Lily, Lonicera sempervirens / Honeysuckle, Lupinus / Lupine, Lychnis / Catchfly / Campion, Monarda / Bee Balm, Oenothera / Evening Primrose / Sundrops, Rosa / Rose, Tanacetum / Feverfew, Thalictrum / Meadow Rue
August: Achillea / Yarrow, Achillea “The Pearl”, Allium tuberosum / Garlic Chives, Coreopsis, Clematis, Coreopsis, Digitalis / Foxglove, Dahlias, Gladiolus, Echinacea / Coneflower, Helenium, Hibiscus, Ligularia, Leucanthemum / Shasta Daisy, Lonicera sempervirens / Honeysuckle (vine), Roses, Buddleia davidii / Butterfly Bush, Hydrangeas
September: Allium tuberosum / Garlic Chives, Anemone hupehensis ‘Pretty Lady’, Anemone hupehensis ‘September Charm’, Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’, Asters, Boltonia, Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’ (vine), Dahlias, Digitalis / Foxglove, Echinacea / Coneflower, Hibiscus, Roses, Sedum
October: Anemones, Asters, Boltonia, Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’ (vine), Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ Grass, Perovskia / Russian Sage, Roses, Rudbeckia / Black-eyed Susan / Coneflower, Sedum
Have you ever been to The Bridge of Flowers? Let me know in the comments!