From time to time, we'll post interesting bits of news about our inn or the community on this page.
Our new puppy and kitten
In December of 2015, both our Scotty, Ivan and our cat, Calvin died and as you might imagine, our winter was both quiet and sad. It took us till this summer to find new little buddies to add life to our house. Louise our mostly black polydactyl cat came in mid July and is friendly to everyone she comes upon. While Thelma our wheaton colored Scottish Terrier puppy came to us in early and she too is an amazingly friendly little dog. Friendly to all dogs she comes upon and friendly to all the humans that pass thru our B&B as well.
We were featured in a travel blog by an international travel writer
Proprietors Craig and Kathy Della Penna do a great job with this lovely old inn in Florence. Hard by the bike path—Craig is an expert in the rails to trails movement, a passion that informed his decision to buy and restore the 1865 colonial home—the Sugar Maple Trailside Inn is a cozy retreat with easy access to downtown Northampton and all the surrounding sights. Recently featured in "Yankee Magazine," the Inn was noted for its impressive collection of train-related ephemera and impressive period gardens as well as its modern amenities, including high-speed wi-fi access to the Internet. Click here to see all the Best in the Valley.
Click on this image to go to the story
Visitors to Valley bed and breakfasts find a home away from home By sherry wilson Created 04/02/2009
Inviting strangers into your home on a regular basis might not appeal to every homeowner, but local operators of bed and breakfast establishments say they enjoy it very much, as do their guests. Some travelers may like the cookie-cutter architecture, décor and breakfast bars of national motels chains with their predictability and anonymity, but there are those visitors to the Pioneer Valley who say they prefer the personal atmosphere and warm welcome of a B and B. CLICK HERE to read the entire story.
SMTI Featured in Yankee Magazine's 70th Anniversary Issue on "THE BEST OF NEW ENGLAND"
Click here to go to Yankee Magazine's Webiste
In early August of 2005, we received a letter from Jamie Trowbridge, President of Yankee Magazine, that their editors featured Sugar Maple Trailside Inn in the September 2005 issue--their 70th Anniversary Issue.
We are a part of the multi-page story about the spectacular fall foliage in the five college area of the Pioneer Valley.
Special photographic shoot at SMTI
Click here to go to our photo tour
Nationally renowned photographer Sarah Musumeci came to "shoot" our bed & breakfast in July, 2005. Her pictures are spectacular and are used throughout the website.Her work has been featured in numerous venues including, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Cape Cod Travel Guide, Concierge Magazine, Massachusetts Great Escapes, Massachusetts Getaway Guide, Modern Bride, New England Travel and Life, Yankee Magazine's Travel Guide to New England, New York Times, Peterson's Photographic Magazine, Paddler's Magazine, SKI Magazine, Travel Holiday, Visit Cape Cod, YANKEE Magazine, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT), New Hampshire Dept. of Tourism, Travel Industry of America, and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.
We are honored to have Sarah perform her brand of magic at our bed & breakfast. Please do visit her site to see more of her work. http://www.sarahmusumeci.com/
Voted "Best in the Valley"
Click here for more info
Our B&B was voted "Best in the Valley" by the readers of the Valley Advocate, the area's best entertainment and cultural happenings newspaper. We were pleasantly surprised to learn of it--and, of course, very honored.
Guest column published
I was recently invited to write a guest column for MassBike's newsletter. MassBike is short for the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, the state-wide bicycle advocacy organization. The article can be seen on the online PDF version of their web site. http://www.massbike.org/cyclist/2005win.pdf. (It is on page 6 of the newsletter.)
New 'retro-cruiser' bikes available for our guests!
In the spring of 2004, we purchased a pair of 2004 Raleigh Retroglider bikes from F.J. Rogers Bike Shop here in Florence. These are the retro-cruiser style bikes that are being seen more and more often.
Built to emulate the old wide, whitewall tired bikes of the 1950s, they include fenders, chain guards, coaster brakes, and 4-speed internal rear hub transmissions for ease of use. We even put a wicker basket on one of them. Cick here to see the official Raleigh Company website page about these fun bikes.
Click here to see full size images
MSNBC broadcasts from SMTI
On Tuesday, May 11, 2004 MSNBC broadcast an interview with one of our neighbors, Ed Wakin from the dining room of our inn. The interview was about the power of televised images to change the public's perception of war.
Ed Wakin is the author of several books on the subject including his most recent book, "How TV Changed America's Mind." The interview was on the Deborah Norville Show. Check this link from MSNBC to learn more about the interview. HERE
Rail Trail is being plowed for the first time ever in 20 years!
One of the longest open rail trails in New England, located in the City of Northampton, Mass., has been getting the snowy end of the stick for years. The Ryan Bikeway, also known as the City of Northampton Bikeway, has been open since 1984, but has never known the benefits of a snow plow--until this year.
Over the years, this recreation trail has evolved into a transportation trail as the number of people using it for more utilitarian purposes has steadily increased, including children walking and biking to school each day. The city has realized that not plowing the trail and allowing it to remain snow-covered for limited user groups such as cross-country skiers is unwise public policy. In fact, even cross-country use was hindered due to people trudging through the snow on a daily basis, trampling down the path with thousand of footprints.
When a city councilor was provided with evidence that other areas in New England plow their trails, he took it to Mayor Higgins who, in turn, asked the head of the DPW about its capability to plow the trail as part of a regular route through the city. After researching the project, the DPW agreed to integrate plowing of the trail into the route.
They will use two pieces of specialized equipment--a six-wheeled tractor with a snow-blower attachment and a bulldozer tread tractor with a plow. If the trail needs sand after it is plowed, they will follow up using a four-wheel drive pickup with a sander body. Trail users are surprised and thrilled to have the Ryan Bikeway as a full-time resource.
MassBike has a section on their homepage devoted to up-to-date information about places that plow bike paths, primarily in Eastern Massachusetts. It can be seen at www.massbike.org.
Historic Gardens Planted at Sugar Maple Trailside Inn
With the restoration of the house mechanicals and exterior in 2001 and 2002, this spring is the first time we've been able to even think of doing any landscaping. In an attempt to do something special, we contracted with a company called Period Gardens to do a "correct" landscaping plan. In other words, "correct" according to the 1860s era of the house.
Period Gardens, owned by Susan Searle, has designed and installed a beautiful series of perennial and herb gardens that are keeping in theme with the plants that would have been commonly seen in the post civil war era.
Susan studied period gardening and designed special gardens for over 25 years. She tutored under Penelope Hobhouse, the English Garden designer, and has worked at Old Sturbridge Village and Hancock Shaker Village. At the latter, she cared for almost three acres of herbs, seed gardens, and field crops.
Sugar Maple Trailside Inn was highlighted on a segment of HGTV's RESTORE AMERICA.
Home & Garden Television's "Restore America"
On Friday, May 30th, Home & Garden Television came to the Sugar Maple Trailside Inn to film a segment of their show, RESTORE AMERICA.The "shoot" took about 10 hours and focused on the restoration efforts throughout the house, as well as the 1860s era landscaping design done by Susan Searle of Period Gardens. The piece first aired on November 19, 2003 and by mid 2006, it has been re-broadcast about 15 times.
Below are some thumbnails of the day's photo shoot. Click on them to view a bigger image.
Recipient of the 2003, City of Northampton Historic Preservation Award.
Before and After
On May 14th, the City of Northampton's Historic Commission awarded the Sugar Maple Trailside Inn the 2003 Historic Preservation Award. We were very honored that our modest efforts were included in the same ceremony with such stellar efforts as the Lyman Plant House and the Art Museum at Smith College.
Sugar Maple Trailside Inn, 62 Chestnut St. Florence (Northampton), MA 01062 For info call: 413-575-2277 Craig@Sugar-Maple-Inn.com