Agri-tourism abounds in Central MA
Central Massachusetts is the perfect place to include in your next green adventure. Your agri-tourism explorations can take you on a wide range of adventures, from a nature hike, a walk through a botanical garden, a visit to an environmental museum, to a visit to a winery, farm, orchard and far beyond. There is something to do in all seasons! Take a hay ride or be spooked while pumpkin picking in the fall, enjoy a family fun Easter egg hunt in the fresh spring air, take time to cool down with freshly picked fruits and vegetables from a farmers market or farm stand in the summer, and bring the warmth back into your heart over a fire after your horse drawn sleigh-ride in the winter. And thanks to land and wildlife conservation efforts, you’ll find lots of opportunities to enjoy great landscapes, view wildlife, or hike, bike, and paddle through the countryside, along the coast, and in urban areas.
While you’re here, witness and enjoy environmental programs in action. Plus check out our calendar of events for fun green activities. Also, please be sure to check out our tips below on what you and your family can do to be green travelers.
Mass Audubon protects more than 34,000 acres of ecologically significant land in Massachusetts, and is a leader in applying green technology to its existing and new buildings. Central MA nature sanctuaries represent some of the most spectacular habitats in Massachusetts. Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester is the largest urban nature sanctuary in New England. Central MA also has 2 national heritage corridors including, here are more suggestions. Find more ways to explore nature in landscapes and State Parks. Keep your eye out for moose, deer and bobcats, while hiking 12 miles of trails at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. The sanctuary's 1300 foot summit offers excellent hawk watching in the fall.
Farms and Orchards
Visit a Central MA farm or orchard and pick your own fruit, buy a bunch of flowers or some herbs, take a tour of an organic farm, help feed llamas, or treat yourself to homemade ice cream. Don’t want to go home? You can even stay on a farm... or continue your journey on the Massachusetts Wine and Cheese Trail. Mmmm! Heifer International has a nonprofit education centrer called Overlook farm which educates the public and hunge and development issues.
There are vineyards that offer you a hands-on wine making experience and farms that have year-round pick your own fruits and vegetables that are in season. Central Massachusetts is a proud supporter of Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA), so whether you are visiting or live nearby, pick up your fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, flowers, milk or meat products or have them delivered to your doorstep! There are dozens of Farmers Markets all over the Central Massachusetts region offering you quality and freshness. As a part of the Wine and Cheese Trail of Massachusetts, Central Massachusetts has a number of cheese makers, wineries and breweries that are a must for the keg, cask or cheese enthusiast! Nothing tastes better on a cool night that a hearty meal prepared for you in an iron cauldron over a fire. No matter what you are looking to do, Central Massachusetts is the place where you can find it all!
Check out all the farm festivals and food events.
See wind power at work
Wind turbines are now becoming a common sight in Massachusetts. Here are some that are easy to visit.
For wind power on a smaller scale, head to Red Apple Farm in Phillipston. Check out the 50-foot, 15 kilowatt turbine, then stay to pick your own fruit, take a fall hay ride, and visit the chickens and the rabbits.
Being a green traveler – things to consider before you leave home
- Change your thermostat to reduce heat/AC use; lower the setting on your hot water heater; unplug chargers, TVs, and other electronics.
- Bring a bag to recycle containers en route.
- Consider alternatives to driving: train, bus, and plane.
- If you’re driving, follow these eco tips.
- Pack reusable water containers – avoid the high environmental cost of one-use plastic bottles.
- Bring good walking shoes – it’s the healthy way to get around.
Green traveler decision making
- Choose hotels and restaurants that have environmental programs in place.
- Participate in hotels’ Green programs: follow the towel re-use programs; use recycle bins; turn off heat, air conditioning, and lights when leaving your room; bring your own toiletries; use recycle containers.
- Get out of your car. Walk, bike, or take advantage of Central MA's public and private transportation network.