Hairpin Turn/Golden Eagle Restaurant

The Hairpin Turn on the Mohawk Trail has served as the gateway to North Adams since its construction in 1914.

The Golden Eagle Restaurant, originally built in 1914, the year the road opened, is located on North Adams’ Hairpin Turn and is one of the oldest sites on the Mohawk Trail. For over a hundred years it has offered refreshments and warm meals to those driving through. It was owned by the Canedy family from its opening until 1980 when it was sold to the Morris family.

Whether one is driving up or down the mountain, safety is a necessity on the Hairpin Turn. In 1958, two big rig trucks crashed into the building within ten weeks of each other, so the restaurant was rebuilt behind a recess in the mountain. The new building now has two stories and a gift shop, however the gift shop was later converted into a lounge due to higher demand for more restaurant seating. The building built in 1958 is the same one that stands today.

Though one might be safe in the restaurant, the Hairpin Turn the eatery sits on is not safe. The curve is very dangerous, and the fifteen mile per hour speed limit is not an exaggeration. As long as that precaution is given priority, the trek is very much worth it. During the winter, the road is even more dangerous but offers almost a completely different experience. The city is transformed into the set of a Christmas movie and Mount Greylock is a beautiful mountainous forest with a blanket of white covering it all. On the way up (or down), while driving carefully take a look at the icicles cascading down the rock wall like a frozen waterfall.

While the Golden Eagle Restaurant offers food for hungry travelers, their crown jewel is the view. Sitting at seventeen hundred feet above sea level, it has one of the best views in the tri-state area. Out on their terrace the whole of Stamford Valley is visible, as well as MCLA, Mass MoCA, and many more iconic North Adams sites. It is said that straight ahead from the deck, you can see parts of New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont to the left and right respectively.

The Golden Eagle Restaurant is actually not in North Adams, but rather can be found at 1935 Mohawk Trail, Clarksburg, Massachusetts. The town line runs right through both ends of the Hairpin Turn. The Hairpin Turn remains one of North Adams most well-known sites and is perfect for the beginning or end of a trip to North Adams.