Skip to content

Situated along a beautiful stretch of the Connecticut River, FirstLight is encouraging residents and visitors to enjoy a wide variety of warm-weather recreational opportunities and programs

Northfield, MA – April 30, 2024 – FirstLight, a leading clean power producer, developer, and energy storage company, today announced a series of spring and summer recreation activities and enhancements at the company’s Franklin County facilities. Located in the communities of Northfield, Montague, and Gill, along a beautiful sweep of the Connecticut River, FirstLight will reopen its local attractions, including the Turners Falls Fishway and the Connecticut River Cruise, for the 2024 Spring and Summer season and will roll out several enhancements to expand access to the facilities for residents and visitors to the area.  

Ahead of the 2024 Spring and Summer season, FirstLight partnered with the Autism Alliance, a program of Advocates, to become an Autism Welcoming and sensory-responsive business to better serve individuals with autism and their families and caregivers. This season, FirstLight will offer sensory-friendly hours at the Turners Falls Fishway and the Connecticut River Cruise.

“FirstLight is proud to offer a wide variety of year-round recreation opportunities to visitors from near and far, continuing our long tradition of helping draw people to Franklin County and support the local economy. During the spring and summer months, people can enjoy our free 26-mile trail system at Northfield Mountain for hiking, biking, or birdwatching. We also offer canoe and kayak rentals and several campsites along the Connecticut River,” said Andy Brydges, Director of Community Relations for FirstLight. “This year, as an Autism Welcoming business, we are excited to add sensory-friendly hours at the Turners Falls Fishway and for the Connecticut River Cruise. FirstLight also provides local libraries with passes that can be checked out and used for canoe and kayak rentals at Bartons Cove, and soon, for the Connecticut River Cruise. We are committed to identifying new pathways to access for the surrounding community to enjoy these wonderful and rejuvenating activities.” 

“The partnership between the Autism Alliance and local businesses increases quality of life for family caregivers and their loved ones with autism, and creates a welcoming, inclusive community for all,” said Jeffrey Keilson, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at Advocates. “Autism Welcoming businesses make simple but impactful accommodations to their locations in order to better serve guests with autism and sensory sensitivities.”

Visitors attending sensory-friendly hours at the Turners Falls Fishway (Wednesday, May 15 and May 22, from 4-5pm and Sunday, May 19 and June 2, from 9-11am) can download a social story from our website to prepare for the trip, and at the facility, they can expect a quieter environment. Sensory bags will also be available to support a more welcoming and accessible experience. Details on sensory-friendly hours and resources for the Connecticut River Cruise will be announced closer to the start of the season.

The following is an overview of FirstLight’s facilities, activities, and operational dates and hours for the public to enjoy during the 2024 Spring and Summer season:

  • Northfield Mountain RecreationAt Northfield Mountain, guests can explore twenty-six miles of traditional hiking trails that wind past streams, hemlock groves, old rock quarries, and the striking Rose Ledge cliffs. Restrooms are available at the Visitors Center every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm, including weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. FirstLight also offers pavilion rentals from Memorial Day weekend through October 14. For more information, including trail maps and reports, click here
  • Turner Falls Fishway ViewingThe Turners Falls Fishway will be open May 11 through June 9 for fish migration season. Spring on the Connecticut River offers an unrivaled opportunity to witness the migration of shad, sea lamprey, and other anadromous fish. These fish migrate from the ocean and head upriver to spawn in the rivers of their birth. A visit to the Turners Falls Fishway provides an opportunity to learn about these amazing journeys. Admission is always free, and the facility is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The Fishway will also be open on Monday, May 27 for the Memorial Day holiday. The Fishway is located on First Street, off Avenue A (15 First Street, Turners Falls). 
  • Barton Cove and Munn’s Ferry CampgroundsBarton Cove Campground will open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Specializing in tent only camping, each site includes a sand filled platform for comfortable tent placement, a picnic table, an elevated charcoal grill, and a campfire ring with a flip back grill. Munn’s Ferry in Northfield is a small camping area only accessible by boat. It is open Memorial Day weekend through October 14. Online camping reservations are open for the season. Reservations by phone (413-863-9300) and in person will be available when the campground opens for the season.
  • Connecticut River CruiseFirstLight’s scenic riverboat, Heritage, will be journeying down the Connecticut River with Ryan LeClerc, FirstLight’s new boat captain. Guests can enjoy a relaxing and informative journey down the French King Gorge, one of the most scenic stretches of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. This 12-mile narrated cruise takes 1.5 hours. Cruises will run Wednesday through Sunday beginning in July through October 14 at 11:00am, 1:15pm, and 3:00pm. Specific dates will be updated closer to the season. Guests can check here for updates. 
  • Barton Cove Canoe and Kayak RentalsBarton Cove also offers 50 watercraft including canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards that are available for rent from two hours up to a full day. Each rental comes with personal flotation devices and paddles. Call 413- 863-9300 for more information or book here

For more information on FirstLight’s recreation areas and upcoming programs, please visit

About FirstLight 

FirstLight is a leading clean power producer, developer, and energy storage company serving North America. With a diversified portfolio that includes over 1.65 GW of operating renewable energy and energy storage technologies and a development pipeline with 4+ GW of solar, battery, hydro, onshore wind, and offshore wind projects, FirstLight specializes in hybrid solutions that pair hydroelectric, pumped-hydro storage, utility-scale solar, large-scale battery, and wind assets. The company’s mission is to accelerate the decarbonization of the electric grid by supporting the development, operation, and integration of renewable energy and storage to meet the world’s growing clean energy needs and deliver an electric system that is clean, reliable, affordable, and equitable. Based in Burlington, MA, with operating offices in Northfield, MA, New Milford, CT, Oshawa, ON, and Montréal, QC, FirstLight is a steward of more than 14,000 acres and hundreds of miles of shoreline along some of the most beautiful rivers and lakes in North America. FirstLight has been wholly owned by PSP Investments since 2016. To learn more, visit or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter


Media Contacts:

Andy Brydges, Director, Community Relations

Cell: 860-549-3373, Email:

Brittany Murphy, Slowey McManus Communications

Cell: 508-826-2817, Email:

We welcome inquiries from the media, questions about our projects and recreation spaces, and gladly engage curiosity about our mission, vision, and more.

Contact us for media inquires and interview requests.