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The Massachusetts State Legislature named the Mohawk Trail a scenic route in 1914. The existence and history of the trail goes back much further. Originally a travel route for the aboriginal peoples of the northeast, it was later traveled by European settlers and their descendents. It was chartered as a turnpike in 1797 to facilitate travel between western Massachusetts and the towns of the Connecticut River Valley. Travelers and tourists have long appreciated its scenes of natural beauty, made more accessible with the invention of the automobile.