Hampshire County

County Offices
99 Main Street
Northampton 413-584-1300

Chamber of Commerce
99 Pleasant St
Northampton 413-584-1900

Hampshire County is located in the western part of Massachusetts in what is known as the Pioneer Valley area. Major geographical features include the Connecticut River, which runs roughly through the middle of the county; Mt. Holyoke, Mt. Tom and Mt. Toby; and the Quabbin Reservoir, the largest man-made lake in North America, which supplies drinking water to much of eastern Massachusetts. The warm, sheltered climate of the valley has led to the development of many commercial agricultural ventures, including the most northerly commercial tobacco cultivation in the country

Education is an important part of the area and the county is famous for being the home of “the Five Colleges,” Smith College in Northampton; Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts in neighboring Amherst; and Mount Holyoke College in nearby South Hadley. Public and private education resources in the region are very important. With businesses working together with parents, teachers and educators to develop programs that make the students in the area stand out in the academic ability. Healthcare is also well represented in the county with very highly rated medical facilities. County residents receive some of the most advanced medical care and services available anywhere. The County’s location also offers resident and easy commute, with several major highways serving the area

Quality of Life
Hampshire County is home to many types of communities, from rural towns to a small city, and many people, from college students to farmers to suburbanites who may commute an hour or more each way to work. These varied people and places combine to make the county a vibrant place to call home. The County is home to many historic sites – from historic homes to historic towns, all ready to be explored. In addition outdoor enthusiasts have many opportunities at hand – from boating and fishing on lakes and rivers to cycling country roads or hiking in forested parks. Families can enjoy seasonal celebrations, small town exploration or just a quiet stroll down a city street. Hampshire County is  the ideal blend of rural and suburban lifestyle to call home.

Town Hall

Chamber of Commerce

Located in the fertile and scenic Connecticut River Valley, Amherst enjoys views of hills and mountains in all directions.  Although originally a farming community, Amherst’s main industry is now education, since it is the home of the main campus of the University of Massachusetts as well as two private colleges, Amherst College and Hampshire College. The town’s population fluctuates during the academic year as almost 15,000 students return to school. These students make the town a lively place to be. Amherst has excellent public schools, libraries and town services. The town has also worked hard to preserve its farming heritage and its open space. Resident can find a balanced quality of life with parts of the year being more lively than others. Residents and visitors have access to lots of exciting outdoor activities, fine shops and restaurants and a housing selection that is one of the best in the state.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Situated along Route 9 just minutes from the college town of Amherst, Belchertown is the second largest town in square miles in all of Massachusetts. This region offers the ideal blend of New England village charm and a modern bedroom community. The striking town green is encircled by white churches and stately colonial homes, offering a picturesque site for band concerts, seasonal and special events, and community activities. Every autumn, the town welcomes throngs of visitors to one of the oldest continuously operating fairs in the nation, the Belchertown Fair. More than a half-million visitors each year enjoy hiking the trails and fishing the tranquil waters of Quabbin Reservoir, a domestic-use reservoir that is distinguished as one of the largest and most spectacular in the entire nation. The famous Quabbin eagles join a multitude of other wildlife in this land-rich pristine habitat. The crown jewel of local attractions is the Stone House Museum, a gracious 1827 stone structure containing period Connecticut Valley antiques and furnishings.

Town Hall


Easthampton is located in the Pioneer Valley and is known as the crossroads of New England because of its strategic location in the Connecticut River Valley and its excellent transportation facilities. The Town of Easthampton is a residential and manufacturing community located approximately just north of Springfield and about 96 miles west of Boston. The towns land area is a broad, relatively level valley bordered on the east by the slopes of Mount Tom. Easthampton’s downtown maintains a New England village character which is a historically significant part of the community.  Residents are committed to promoting industry and a central downtown area. The town offers numerous opportunities for education and recreation.  Nonotuck Park is a beautiful regional recreation area containing 190 acres for active and passive activities. The Massachusetts Audubon Society manages the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary which provides educational programs for adults and children. The Manhan River flows past the center of town eventually reaching the Connecticut River, and there is fishing on Nashawannuck Pond. Easthampton is also home to the Williston Northampton School, a private secondary college prep school which recently received a blue ribbon educational award, ranking it one of the top private schools in the country.

Town Hall

Chamber of commerce

Hadley is a growing residential community with a strong agricultural base. This scenic community is bordered on the west by the Connecticut River and on the south by the Mount Holyoke Range.  Hadley is one of the oldest settlements in Massachusetts. Hadley was founded in 1659. Hadley has two village centers; North Hadley, a traditional New England town, and Hadley Center, with its notable historic homes. The Porter Phelps-Huntington House Museum, built in 1752, hosts folk music concerts and storytelling. Hadley became the birthplace of broom-making in 1797 and an important cultivator of broom corn thereafter.  The Hadley Farm Museum houses a large collection of early New England farm machinery dating back to the roots of the community.  The town center has its stately colonial homes clustered around the village green gives residents and visitors a taste of the old days.  The Joseph Skinner State Park, on the Mount Holyoke Range, boasts a spectacular view from its summit and from Summit House, which was originally built in 1851. Hadley remains largely agricultural and residential. It has the largest number of agricultural acres in the region, which includes crops of corn, potatoes, tobacco and other vegetables. Residents have access to all of their shopping and restaurant needs with the Malls and commercial businesses that lie along Russell Street on Route 9 to the east of the town center.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Huntington boasts the distinction as the gateway to the Berkshires, bordered by Northhampton on the east, Westfield on the south, Chester and Worthington on the west, and Montgomery and Russell on the south. Characterized as a desirable bedroom community, the town’s rural atmosphere and abundant natural resources provide a pleasing atmosphere for comfortable homes. Set against a backdrop of varied and sometimes spectacular terrain, the town features dramatic, narrow valleys graced by glistening streams and rolling rivers. Hills reaching more than 1,400 feet in elevation create a picturesque setting. Residents enjoy fishing, hiking, swimming, and picnicking within the town’s borders. Knightville and Littleville Dams provide more than 2,400 acres of federally owned open space, and Gardner State Park provides another 70 acres of public parkland and recreational amenities. Each spring the town sponsors the oldest, continually run whitewater race in the nation.

Town Hall

Chamber of Commerce

Northampton is a lively, diverse community located in the heart of the Five College Area of the Pioneer Valley. Home to Smith College, Northampton also serves as the county seat of Hampshire County.  It is located at the intersection of a major highway which links Amherst and the University of Massachusetts with the towns to the west, and the north-south corridor of Route 91. Residents enjoy both a traditional and innovative lifestyle.  The village centers provide focal points for outlying areas while the downtown is very active days and evenings with a wide selection of restaurants, coffee and shops, theaters including the only municipally owned theater in the state, clubs featuring an array of music, street musicians and a Center for the Arts.  All of this provides a perfect atmosphere for strolling the area. The city also offers strong municipal programs in education, recreation, public safety and public works. The town has a strong and economic base made up of retail and commercial sector and a manufacturing sector which has a mixture of operations. The community has a large institutional base which includes county services, three hospitals and Smith College. The small city atmosphere of the community is accompanied by rich natural resources, which include the Connecticut River, agricultural and conservation lands and the Acadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Residents embrace the rich history of the area and enjoy an enviable quality of life.

Municipal Offices

Chamber of Commerce

The small and pleasant town of Pelham is perched on the ridge that divides the Connecticut River’s Pioneer Valley from Quabbin Reservoir and central Massachusetts. Nearly one-third of the original town is now part the Quabbin Reservoir, and one-third of today’s town is owned by the state as part of the reservoir watershed. The Daniel Shays Highway, now a part of Route 202, was constructed during the reservoir project. The school system is the largest employer in Pelham, joining limited industry. Most residents are retired or commuters who enjoy the pristine setting and the close proximity to Amherst and the five-college area with its exceptional educational and cultural attractions. Few small communities can rival Pelham for its remarkable combination of recreational, educational, and cultural amenities close to home.

South Hadley
Town Hall

The Town of South Hadley is located in the Pioneer Valley along the banks of the Connecticut River.  It is a bedroom community for the Springfield-Holyoke area. It is mainly a residential town with its major employers being the manufacturer of specialty papers and Mount Holyoke College.  South Hadley is a small, friendly, college town with a diverse offering of recreational activities for residents and visitors.  Residents can stroll the beautiful Mount Holyoke College campus or enjoy plays sponsored by the College’s summer theater group. Located at the center of the town is the Village Commons which offers a variety of shops, restaurants, theaters and cafes. Residents can visit the Canal Park which provides a pleasant stroll along the Connecticut River. The town offers country living with a variety of craft and antique fairs, the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at the Town Common, the Memorial Day “Olde Fashion Picnic” and a variety of community activities which add to the atmosphere of relaxed  home-town living.

Town Hall

Ware is a former mill town, tucked under the Quabbin Reservoir.  It is approximately equidistant to Springfield, Northampton and Worcester.  Ware grew as an industrial community in the latter half of the 1800’s and subsequently served as a regional commercial center with a strong downtown area. Today that downtown area is home to shops and restaurants. Most of the growth of the town in the past decade has been around Beaver Lake or among the many scenic back roads that ring the town. The town has become a bedroom community for the larger areas around it, with a majority of residents commuting to work in those areas. The town maintains a quiet rural feel with just enough activity to satisfy its residents and visitors alike.

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