• gfdc

Housed within a complex of old mill buildings in historic Turners Falls, Massachusetts, the Great Falls Discovery Center’s exhibits show the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. The Center’s four acres of native plants, butterfly gardens, and open lawn nestle into a bend in the Connecticut River to provide a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere and the perfect place for fun and learning.

Inside the main building, exquisite walk-through dioramas show the plants, animals, and landscapes of this 410-mile-long river from its arboreal source near the Canadian border, through forests and farms, past villages, towns, and cities, all the way down to the estuary at the Long Island Sound. A timeline indicates the impacts of human habitation on each environment over time and suggests safeguards to keep the watershed healthy and useful for all—people, plants, and animals—that live here together.

The Center’s charming Great Hall is in a separate building, a former machine shop, with a high ceiling, brick walls, large windows, and gleaming old wood floors. It is connected to the main building by a corridor whose windows on one side open onto an old canal (once used for transportation, now for power), faced on the other by a mural depicting what is found beneath the canal water rushing by. The Great Hall is used for regularly held art exhibits and special educational programs and activities for children and adults, as well as for the Friends of GFDC’s monthly live-music Coffeehouses that warm up the room while raising funds that support the Center’s free public programs.

Located in town yet close to nature, the Center is one end of an easy self-guided walking tour of the interesting little town of Turners Falls, with its historical industrial architecture and distinctive geology, restaurants, shops, and old Carnegie Library. The walk and bike path along the river and canal runs from Turners Falls to Deerfield and is a favorite site for bird watching. A short distance along the other side of the bridge leads to Barton Cove’s picnic area and camp grounds, where eagles soar over the peninsula.

The Center’s building and exhibits are fully accessible and are free and open to the public.  It is a cooperative program of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, with financial and program support from the Friends of Great Falls Discovery Center.

Visit Us on Facebook to stay informed on the programs and events at the Center and to download our monthly events calendar.

Hours & Free Admission

Current Seasonal Hours
10 am to 4 pm
Wednesdays through Sundays

Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Open New Year’s Day. Come join us for our First Day Hike.

FREE ADMISSION – Admission to the Center is free. The Center hosts both free programs and some fee based programs and any fees or registration requirements are announced on our online events calendar.

EVENTS: See our events calendar. Additionally, here are printable version of our events calendars and flyers:  February 2017 Calendar of EventsWinter Kidleidoscope Story Hour Schedule, and February 2017 Coffeehouse.

Upcoming Events

10:00 am Montague Favorite Places Investi... @ Great Falls Discovery Center
Montague Favorite Places Investi... @ Great Falls Discovery Center
Feb 11 @ 10:00 am – Feb 26 @ 4:00 pm
 Montague Favorite Places Investigation Station Where do you love to spend time in the Town of Montague? What do you like to do there? Come to the Discovery Center to create art at our investigation station about your favorite places in Montague’s five villages: Turners Falls, Montague City, Montague Center, Millers Falls, and Lake Pleasant. Make a map or a drawing that will be exhibited at the Discovery Center in March and April.   Saturday, February 11 through Sunday February 26. All day.
10:00 am School Vacation Week: Open Every... @ Great Falls Discovery Center
School Vacation Week: Open Every... @ Great Falls Discovery Center
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – Feb 26 @ 4:00 pm
School Vacation Week: Open Every Day All Week Long We are expanding our winter hours this week so stop by the welcome desk for investigation stations at the welcome desk every day 10am to 4pm!   Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 Investigation station topics: –Saturday 2/18—Monday 2/20: Mammal adaptations –Tuesday 2/21—Thursday 2/23: Indoor Birding –Friday 2/24—Sunday 2/26: Dinosaurs
10:30 am Kidleidoscope Fridays – Bears @ Great Falls Discovery Center
Kidleidoscope Fridays – Bears @ Great Falls Discovery Center
Feb 24 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  Kidleidoscope Fridays – Bears Come learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River Watershed. Program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft to introduce young children to wildlife along the river. Meet in the Great Hall. For ages 3-6. Siblings and friends welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
7:00 pm Rise Up & Sing with Annie Patter... @ Great Falls Discovery Center
Rise Up & Sing with Annie Patter... @ Great Falls Discovery Center
Mar 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Rise Up & Sing with Annie Patterson & Peter Blood @ Great Falls Discovery Center | Montague | Massachusetts | United States
Flyer – Rise & Sing P & A   Annie Patterson & Peter Blood are co-creators of the popular songbook Rise Up Singing and their new sequel Rise Again, Annie & Peter have played a central role in helping create a quiet revolution of group singing in North America. Annie & Peter will be performing and leading songs out of their new songbook, Rise Again, as well as from their original best-selling songbook Rise Up Singing. Their performance will focus especially on environmental songs – the struggle to reverse climate change and enjoy and restore our precious planet. Copies of Rise Again will be available at the coffeehouse. If you have a copy of Rise Up Singing, bring it with you to join along in song. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Coffee and homemade baked goods are available. The museum and museum store are open during intermission. Suggested sliding scale donation $6–$12, free for children. Donations help the Friends of the Discovery Center provide free nature programming for the public. The Discovery Center is wheelchair accessible. For more information, please call the Discovery Center at (413) 863-3221 or online at greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org  

Directions & Parking

GPS Users
2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376.  Please note that the address may show up as  Montague in some units.

From the North and South
Take Interstate 91, take exit 27 onto Route 2 East/Mohawk Trail towards Boston.
Turn right onto Main St. (over the Gill-Montague Bridge).
Continue onto Avenue A.
The Great Falls Discovery Center is the first red building on your right immediately after the bridge.

From the West
Take Route 2 East past route 91 to the traffic lights in Gill.
Turn right onto Main St. (over the Gill-Montague Bridge).
Continue onto Avenue A.
The Great Falls Discovery Center is the first red building on your right immediately after the bridge.

From the East
Take Route 2 West to Gill.
At the Route 2 lights in Gill, turn left onto Main St. (over the Gill-Montague Bridge).
Continue onto Avenue A.
The Great Falls Discovery Center is the first red building on your right immediately after the bridge.

Handicap accessible parking is available immediately after the Gill-Montague bridge on the right.
The main parking lot is just around the corner.  Take the next right onto Second St, then a right to enter the lot.


Great Falls Discovery Center

For school field trips and group visits contact: 


Department of Conservation and Recreation

For Great Hall rentals and recreational permits contact:

For Park Interpreter Contact:


For information about art displays in the Great Hall:


Membership and Support
See the Friends Page

or call us at 413.863.3221

Sponsored by:
Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
     •     Connecticut River Greenway State Park     •     Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center

© 2012 Great Falls Discovery Center     •     All Rights Reserved     •     Site design by Starstruck Design