In the small town of Florida, which is sprawled across the top of the Hoosac mountain range in the Berkshires, winter comes with a wallop, and winter sports enthusiasts can meet their match. When it is raining in the lower terrains of the larger towns of the Berkshire Hills, it is snowing in Florida. And at the top sits the Rose and Goat Retreat and also the Whitcomb Summit Retreat, comprising almost 70 acres between them across the top in its own climate zone. From North Adams you can look up at the mountain and see the band of frozen white across the very top of the mountain. As you climb up the scenic Mohawk Trail, you will pass the “Welcome to Florida” sign and then shortly thereafter enter the frozen white winter wonderland. Not for the faint of heart or the warm weather sun seekers in the winter – only the hardiest of folk truly love the Florida winters. But if you are seeking magnificent winter beauty which lures you with its frozen splendor but belies its danger, this is the place in the Berkshires where you’ll find it. The elevation at the top where the Rose and Goat Retreat and the Whitcomb Summit are is the second highest in the state, second only to Mount Greylock. Snowmobile trails run through both the Rose and Goat Retreat and the Whitcomb Summit Retreat, so snowmobilers can jump on their sleds and generally hit the trails in the town of Florida, even when the trails are not snow covered enough in the lower elevations. Cross country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts can also enjoy certain trails. For the downhill skiers, snowboarders, and tubers – in the nearby town of Charlemont there is Berkshire East Ski Resort, with some of the longest and most beautiful runs in the state. Berkshire East is a small, family run business and generally is not crowded on any given ski day, making it a great place to ski for those who do show up! My 15 year old son loves the black diamond runs there, although I have yet to challenge myself above an intermediate level trail – I’m happy to stay up on my skis and enjoy the scenery!
So if you feel like having a true survivalist winter adventure, come to Florida in January or February – Florida, Massachusetts, that is!