Johnny Appleseed Trail Association Needs Your Help!

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is presently debating the state budget.  Several amendments have been filed to House budget to further support and enhance tourism and visitation promotion and marketing.  We are working this week to add co-sposnors to these amendments.

Please use the link below to email your State Representative TODAY and ask them to co-sponsor the tourism and visitor amendments.

Please act today by using the link below:

Click the link below to log in and send your message: 

JATA hosts FAM tour for Barbara Gallucci

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) helped host a New England FAM tour in May, 2016 with award winning Italian travel writer  Barbara Gallucci that resulted in a feature in the April, 2017 edition of Touring Magazine highlighting New England. The Town of Harvard and several members in region were included in the feature.  Touring Magazine is the official magazine of the Italian Touring Club Association, which is similar to AAA in the United States. The publication has a circulation of 300,000 copies and a readership of 571,000 people.  The FAM Tour was conducted in partnership with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and Discover New England. JATA wishes to thank members who participated.  The purpose of these familiarization (FAM) tours is to generate positive awareness among travel writers and positive coverage in their travel publications, which ultimately generates additional tourists and additional dollars to our state and our region. The marketing generated from this travel article is estimated to have a value of $300,000.

Click here to view the article

By the Light of the Moon

By the Light of the Moon

Music festivals. Quiet walks on sun-dappled trails. Afternoons spent on a warm beach, or watching the kids safely splashing in a zero-depth water park.

The long sunny days of spring and summer offer a wealth of opportunities to explore the beauty of Johnny Appleseed Country.

But wait! Your enjoyment of the great outdoors doesn’t have to end when the sun starts to dip below the horizon!

There’s plenty of beauty to enjoy after dusk settles across the region.

Take a Hike

Lace up your boots, for example, and take moonlit hike on Wachusett Mountain in Princeton for a totally different view of the region’s landscape.

There are also many groups, as well as individuals, that hike Wachusett Mountain. They range  from a few friends to organized groups (both public and private) that coordinate their adventures on Facebook, to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). Although not mandatory, it is always  a good idea to hike with a partner.

The view from the top of Wachusett is always grand, but it’s even more breath-taking with the moon overhead and the city lights spread like a blanket below.

Or join the folks at Wachusett Meadow  Wildlife Sanctuary for a family hike by moonlight. You can listen for owls or coyotes, catch a glimpse of beavers on the pond, and walk among lightning bugs in the meadows before gathering around a campfire to enjoy some s’mores. These special group hikes can be found in the calendar in this Guide, or visit to learn more about the sanctuary and its programs.

The North County Land Trust also organizes walks through its properties throughout the region — including occasional guided  “Night Walk & Owl Prowl” events at the Crocker Conservation Area in Fitchburg. Check the organization’s website,, for an updated schedule of their day and evening walking tours.

A Ribbon of Light

For a different experience, get off the trail —and into a canoe! This region is filled with ponds, lakes, rivers and streams that are as beautiful in the evening as in the bright light of day. Don’t want to strike out on your own? Don’t worry!  Nashoba Paddler in Groton offers a series of Full Moon Canoeing Tours.  You’ll set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night life. You can find details about Nashoba Paddler and their moonlight tours at

When the sun sets, the outdoors lights up in Johnny Appleseed Country.

A Century of Service

It’s been a century since 5,000 acres of land in the Massachusetts towns of Ayer, Harvard, Lancaster and Shirley were developed into Camp Devens, training soldiers for service in World War I.

Over the next 100 years, the site welcomed soldiers returning from battle, served as a summer training camp for National Guardsmen, Reservists and ROTC cadets, and became a permanent Army post that became known as Fort Devens.

When a second war enveloped the world, Devens trained nurses, chaplains, cooks and bakers as well as the troops of the 1st, 32nd and 45th Infantry Divisions and the Fourth Women’s Army Corps.

Through the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam era, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield, Fort Devens continued to serve the nation’s needs. But in 1996, under the Base Realignment And Closing Act, Fort Devens was closed.

Now known simply as Devens, the land remains historically significant for local residents, Massachusetts, and the United States of America.

And it holds an array of memories for the thousands of men and women who were trained and deployed there.

A decade ago, a museum was founded as a repository for a collection of artifacts related to Devens’ service, and an education resource for schools and individuals.

This year, the museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of the creation of Camp Devens with a variety of special events, including a World War I Dinner/Dance Fundraiser at  the Bull Run Restaurant on July 15;  and  18th Army Band Reunion Concert on the Devens Quadrangle on July 16. Retired members of the 18th Army Band — long stationed at Fort Devens—will join members of other local bands to perform that free afternoon outdoor band concert.

World War I Living History Weekend follows, on August 5 and 6.  In August 1917, over 20,000 soldiers were in the midst of training at Camp Devens while war waged in Europe. Visitors are invited to experience displays of US doughboys, along with French and German troops, to see what a WWI encampment looked like,  and to admire period vehicles.

To learn more about Devens, the museum and the centennial events, visit

Open Up Spring with the Johnny Appleseed Country Guide

The spring season is nearly here and what better way to start planning your spring adventures than with the Johnny Appleseed Country Guide. With an event calendar that lasts through August and a list of the best local attractions there is no better resource when planning out your family fun as the weather warms up and the days get longer.
The guide comes out at the beginning of March and we distribute 35,000 copies across New England and into Canada. Look for yours at the Johnny Appleseed Visitors’ Center, at any of our members across North Central Massachusetts, or by contacting us at 978.353.7604.

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association hosting Second Annual Tourism Update Breakfast

Experience Massachusetts in

Welcome to Johnny Appleseed Country! Here you will be able to find information on the attractions, lodgings, restaurants, shops, and events that make the 26 cities and towns of north central the perfect travel destination. Continue to the rest of the site and begin your adventure to Johnny Appleseed Country.

Experience Massachusetts in

Welcome to Johnny Appleseed Country! Here you will be able to find information on the attractions, lodgings, restaurants, shops, and events that make the 26 cities and towns of north central the perfect travel destination. Continue to the rest of the site and begin your adventure to Johnny Appleseed Country.

Johnny Appleseed Country Receives National Recognition from Sports Industry

Johnny Appleseed Country Receives National Recognition from Sports Industry

 SportsEvents Media Group, the leading industry publication focused exclusively on helping sporting event planners produce excellent competitions in the United States, has announced Johnny Appleseed Country as one of its 2017 Readers’ Choice Award winners.  Winners were announced in the January 2017 issue of SportsEvents.  This is the second year in a row that Johnny Appleseed Country has received the award.

Sports event professionals were asked to nominate destinations and sports venues that they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the groups they host. Nominations were received from readers throughout the year, and the top picks were selected based on results from an online voting system.

“To be recognized nationally by the industry professionals who plan sporting events every day is very exciting and humbling,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. “It’s very rewarding to see our hard work to position North Central Massachusetts as a premier destination for amateur sporting events and competitions be recognized with this honor.”

“It is clear, based on our readers’ experiences, that these award winners are willing to go above and beyond typical service levels to help sports event planners produce outstanding events that participants, their families and spectators will want to experience again and again,” said John Rezell, executive editor of SportsEvents

Sporting events is a market that has been targeted for growth in North Central Massachusetts.  According to the National Association of Sports Commissions, travel sports spending nationally amounted to nearly $9 billion last year.

Families, athletes and attendees spend nights in hotels, fill restaurants and take in the local sights while attending a tournament or amateur sports event. This generates tax dollars for local communities, creates jobs, and contributes to economic vitality of the communities in the region. Sporting events can have a significant economic impact, but is a highly competitive market. The region is well positioned to benefit from the sporting industry with many high quality sports facilities and amenities.

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association has worked collectively with local communities, economic development officials and attractions in the region on marketing efforts to target event organizers and other decision makers in the sports industry.

The tourism industry is the third largest industry in Massachusetts, and a major driver for the North Central Massachusetts economy. Tourists spend $127 million a year in North Central Massachusetts, supporting thousands of jobs, local businesses and providing millions of dollars in local tax revenue.

Fair Season 2017

Yes, it’s here. The end of summer. But the fun is continuing on in Appleseed Country! Fall is a most beautiful season in our area and what better way to celebrate that with the Country Fair? And what better fair than our very own Appleseed Country Fair? This fantastic festival takes place September 3nd from 10am-6pm, September 43rd from 10am-5pm and September 4th from 10am-4pm at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston.

Check out our photo gallery


This year, we have so much going on! First up is the FIDDLEFEST, the largest fiddle competition in New England! Can you play the fiddle? Come DSCF4818out on Sunday September 3rd at 12pm for a chance to win cash prizes. To register, contact Fern Parket at Click HERE for the flyer for more information.

For more info on the fiddle contest and rules and regulations Click HERE!

As always, there is also LOTS OF LIVE MUSIC to see who’s playing check out our MUSIC LINEUP.

New to the Fair is the John Deer Human Tractor Pull. Competitors will be pulling fullsized farm tractors with nothing but their own muscles and grit to get them through.

Thank you to all of OUR SPONSORS for the 5th Annual Appleseed Country Fair!SWH_Logo_4c_Tag Print

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