Backroads and small towns made for wandering in Western Massachusetts

“The term ‘accidental wilderness’ captures the essence of it,” said Clif Read, supervisor of Quabbin’s interpretive services. “It was not designed as a wilderness area or wildlife sanctuary or state park, but because of the protection of the area around the drinking water, it has become wild.”

Ask at the museum for directions to West Cemetery, where Dickinson is buried, less than a 10-minute walk away. The tombstone bears the words “Called back,” a phrase the poet used in a letter shortly before her death, suggesting perhaps that she was not quite of this world.

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