Date Visited: September 6, 2016
Location: 22 Water St, Shelburne Falls, MA (1 hour west of Springfield, MA, 1.5 hours east of Hartford, CT and about 2 hours west of Boston)
Hours: Open April 1 – October 30, 24 hours a day
Parking: There is available off street parking (the 2 hour unmetered parking limit on Bridge St is strictly enforced) and a free parking area off Baker Ave with about 30 -40 free spots (take care not to park in the spots reserved for businesses and other tenants in the area) and additional off street parking. Parking is difficult during peak times.
Size: 400 feet long, 18 feet wide
Time To Allot For Visit: 30 minutes an hour.
Dog Friendly: No
Highlights: pretty flowers, scenic views, memorials, works of art, a master gardener is available on the bridge during peak weekends to ask questions about your own plants and gardens
Lowlights: bridge can get congested since it is narrow
Website: Bridge Of Flowers
Built in 1908 for a measley $20,000 (roughly $500,000 in current day’s money) by the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway, the Bridge of Flowers is now home to a wide variety of flowers, trees and even some works of art.
Originally, the bridge was used as the main mode of transportation for the community. However, once cars became more popular, the train was used less and the company went out of business. Since the bridge could not be destroyed because it carried a water main between the towns of Colrain and Shelburne Falls, it was decided to do something with the bridge. Then, in 1929, the Shelburne Women’s Club sponsored Antoinette Burnham’s idea to transform the bridge into a garden.
More than 35,000 people visit the bridge ever year. Yet, it is still something of an unknown attraction, even in New England.
Much to the consternation of my company, I can be very particular about my photos (although my guest on this day didn’t complain). I tried my best to take photographs of the bridge without any visitors on the bridge or with as few people as possible on it and wow did it take a while to get those shots which just goes to show how much foot traffic it can get. But, I did eventually get my shots of an empty or close to empty bridge.
This post is photo-heavy. As much as I tried, it was very hard to choose flowers to include and which ones to not include.
The hardest part of this photo shoot was selecting the best photos to post. The flowers are so pretty and the view nothing short of jaw dropping. The flowers are also beautifully arranged. I especially liked how the flowers complimented the landscape.
Birds and bees like the flowers, too.
Flowers and trees aren’t the only attractions at the Bridge Of Flowers. Memorials and art are scattered throughout the bridge.
One of the works of art at the Bridge of Flowers is a stained glass window designed by Nancy Katz and created by Mark Liebowitz at the Garden House. It is illuminated during the evening.
This water fountain is also at the area past the bridge.
I noticed this in one of the flower beds. What is it? A coded message? A plan for a secret rendezvous?
Also, and not least, there are war memorials on the bridge. This memorial honors the veterans of World War I and World War II of the Buckland and Shelburne areas. While it honors all of the veterans of these wars, the names of those made the supreme sacrifice from these areas are engraved on the plaque on the stone.
This memorial honors the veterans of Korean and Vietnam wars. The names of the peolpe from the community who lost their lives in these wars are engraved on the plaque on the stone.
Another great thing about the bridge is they plant flowers each month and it is “peak season” for different flowers at different times (their planting schedule is on their web site). So you’re sure to see something new and pretty any time you go. However, I would suggest going during the summer or, preferably, the fall.
Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:
Glacial Potholes And Salmon Falls (Shelburne Falls, MA)
Eindsor-Cornish Bridge (Windsor, VT and Cornish, NH)