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Jacob`s Ladder Trail (Route 20)

Jacob`s Ladder Trail (Route 20)
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Quick Facts
Designation: Massachusetts State Scenic Byway
Length, One-Way: 25 Miles (41.67 Kilometers)

General Information

Description - Jacob's Ladder Trail Scenic Byway originated centuries ago when people from the Mohican and Woronoake tribes walked between Connecticut and the Hudson River valleys. The trail has now been transformed into one of the most beautiful roads in the United States. During 1910, authorities had the road built as the first highway specifically constructed for the new state-of-the-art horseless wagons, or automobiles. Adventurers from many places came to test themselves and their machines against the rugged terrain. At the time, there were potholes that could hide a tire, mud so deep it could bury a car, and small boulders blocking the road. Today, however, Jacob' Ladder Trail Byway is a pleasant drive for motorists of a less venturesome sort. Many have appreciated the inspiring landscape of the Berkshire Hills while driving this relaxing route.

Not long after the road was built, it became known as the "Yellowstone Trail." This was because it joined with a highway that linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans together. The road stretched from Boston to Oregon. However, locals know this Byway best as "The First of the Great Mountain Crossovers" because of the audacity and vision the engineers demonstrated by constructing this road over the wild mountains and through Jacob's Ladder Corridor.

Attractions - The Jacob`s Ladder Trail (Route 20) is known for it's Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.

Recreation - In addition to sightseeing, visitors will find a lot of fun activities in the surrounding areas. Some of these include participating in the annual canoe race, visiting the abundant art and craft shops, or fishing some of the many lakes and streams. For those interested in the performing arts, dancers from all over the world converge at the annual Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival to put on many wonderful shows. Dancers from China, Russia, and other countries have expressed their fondness for this special community event.

Climate - Massachusetts experiences four distinct seasons with slightly varying temperatures in the inland and coastal regions. Along the coast the water is a moderating factor that often prevents large amounts of snowfall from accumulating through the winter. Summer temperatures are usually cooler than low lying inland areas, due to ocean breezes. This region of the country experiences high humidity in the summer season and temperatures that average close to 80 degrees F. Fall and Spring are pleasant times to visit the region with crisp air and low humidity. Brilliant foliage colors can be found in the central and western regions of the state in late September and October. Winter temperatures can be brutally cold on occasion with a humidity-filled wind, but on average winter daytime temperatures reach 35 degrees F and lows reach into the teens. Spring is usually the wettest time of year, but trees, bushes and flowers are blooming by early May.

Location - Jacob's Ladder Trail begins in Lee on Route 20 and follows it until ending in the town of Russell.
It is 33 miles / 53.1 km long.

Directions from : This byway follows U.S. Highway 20 from Becker to Westfield.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Jacob`s Ladder Trail (Route 20)
ICON Viewing Scenery Jacob`s Ladder Trail (Route 20)

More Information

Additional Information:
Massachusetts Scenic Byways - Described here are two of Massachusetts state designated scenic byways: Jacobs Ladder Trail and Old King's Highway.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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