Many outstanding features contributed to earning the national “Wild & Scenic” designation for 78.1 miles of the Wild & Scenic Westfield River. Among them are:
- One of the most intact river systems in Southern New England and one of the healthiest tributaries to the Connecticut River.
- Excellent water quality and one of the best coldwater fisheries in the Commonwealth
- Remarkable historic sites such as the Keystone Arch Bridges built in the 1840s as well as several historic villages along the river
- Glendale Falls, the highest waterfall in the Commonwealth
- Regionally unique geologic features such as the Chesterfield Gorge and Windsor Jambs
- One of the largest roadless wilderness areas remaining in Massachusetts, as well as the largest contiguous state forest in the Commonwealth (October Mountain State Forest, 16,127 acres)
- Exemplary natural communities and outstanding biodiversity including many endangered species
- One of the finest whitewater boating areas in the northeastern United States
- Longest uncontrolled segment of river in the Commonwealth
- A population density of less than half a person per acre—the second lowest density of all Massachusetts watersheds
To help protect these resources, the Wild & Scenic Westfield River is fortunate to have an active corps of local volunteers, municipal officials, professional planners, government officials, and conservation organizations to provide local, grassroots-led collaboration and leadership.