Cheap travel: The Mohawk Trail

When economic fortunes take a downturn, one of the first things to go is vacations. After all, it's really hard to justify a jaunt to St. Bart's or London when you're struggling to cover your credit card bills. However, just because you can't afford to go globe-trotting doesn't mean that you're doomed to spend all your time stuck in your apartment or house. Rather than abandon your vacation entirely, why not opt for a lower-priced choice?

One of my favorite vacation spots is the Mohawk Trail. Comprising a stretch of Route 2 that winds across Western Massachusetts, the Mohawk trail was one of America's first scenic highways. Twisting through steep mountains and over the beautiful Deerfield river, the trail has been a tourist attraction for almost a hundred years. In that time, it has had surprisingly little change, and even features many of the original Indian-themed gift shops and small tourist cabins that cropped up in the early twentieth century. For much of its length, the Mohawk Trail offers visitors the chance to experience travel as it was eighty years ago.

The best guide that I've found to the area is Muddy River Press' Historic Auto Trail Guide: The Mohawk Trail. The text is a little clunky at times, but it covers many of the major attractions and is illustrated with dozens of pictures depicting the area in its heyday. Even if you get the guide, here are a few of the major attractions: