The waters that flow through the Berkshires can be mellow and picturesque or wildly coursing over the land, depending on where you are in the county. We may not have an ocean, but the lakes, rivers and falls that traverse our county are a spectacular sight to behold and one of the many reasons that visitors travel to our part of the world. Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes is noted as saying, “There’s no tonic like the Housatonic.” As the largest river running through our county, it certainly gets its share of attention, from fishing enthusiasts to artists, and even bird watchers, who flock to its shores to seek out the plethora of birds that take to the Berkshire waters.
The Berkshires lakes and rivers offer up many fun activities for visitors and residents alike. On the lakes, you’ll find powerboats, kayaks and paddle boards, all sharing the water. Fishing is popular in the lakes and rivers, with many record breaking fish being from this area. River rafting is popular on the rivers, from white water rafting to floating lazily down rivers on floats. Wherever you travel in the Berkshires, you will surely spot people enjoying the water in some form or another.
Aside from the fun that can be found on our waters, our lakes and rivers are also favored by artists of all kinds. From poets like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes and William Cullen Bryant, to painters such as Thomas Cole, George Inness and Frederic Edwin Church, artists have been enamored by our land for centuries. There are poems dedicated to our lakes and rivers, as writers try to describe the serene beauty of the lakes, and songs that tell of adventures in and around the waters. Painters have found inspiration for their work, creating masterpieces from the shores for as long as the land has been inhabited by early Americans. Present day artists also find the Berkshire waters to their liking, and I have often seen painters and photographers trying to capture the glory of our lakes and rivers. It is a satisfying feeling, to know that wherever you go in this county, the gorgeous waters of the Berkshires will be surrounding you, whether you choose to be energetic and sporty, you are looking for relaxation or simply enjoying the sights as you drive past them. Many things change throughout the years in the Berkshires, but our waters remain a constant, unchanging source of its beauty.
Photo Credit: Catherine May