Group Travel Articles

Groups Explore the Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area in the Berkshires

 

By Dan Bolognani

Take a hike!  It’s a great way to experience the real Berkshires – up close and personal.  The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (Housatonic Heritage) invites you and your group to join us for this year’s Heritage Walks, scheduled for September 21-22 and October 5-6, 2013.  More than 50 free, guided walks are offered in the heritage area that includes Berkshire County and portions of Litchfield County, CT.

The annual Heritage Walks feature short walks as well as longer hikes, walking tours of towns and historical buildings, nature and birding walks, tours of industrial site ruins, a canoe / kayak trip on the river, and Native American walks. All ages and physical abilities are welcome so this is a great activity to weave into your group’s itinerary and get everyone outside!  Most walks are family-friendly, and many of them are accessible to all – regardless of physical limitations.

While many of the walks are along nature trails (established footpaths or perhaps bushwhacking to view historic sites) other walks provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at some well-known institutions – theaters, museums and studios.  All walks are sure to please, with knowledgeable guides available to point out highlights and answer your questions.

Many historically and culturally significant venues open their doors to the public for a heritage walk, and provide insight as to how the Berkshires region has become a magnet for creative outlet, allowing your group a true insiders look at the Berkshires.  Natural resource conservation organizations will provide access to many of the region’s significant resource areas, and provide interpretive talks about those resources. Your group is likely to discover a truly unique story here and they won’t be able to stop talking about their unique Berkshire experience!

The Upper Housatonic Valley area ranges from Kent, Connecticut, to Lanesborough, Massachusetts, and encompasses 964 square miles of the upper Housatonic River watershed. The area is bordered by the Berkshire Plateau to the east and the Taconic range to the west.

Unlocking the mysteries, discovering unique places and thoroughly enjoying an authentic Berkshires experience – that’s what the Heritage Walks are all about.  A complete list of walks are available online at www.heritage-hikes.org, contact us today to see get your group involved.
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In addition to his work within the travel and tourism industry, Dan Bolognani currently serves as Executive Director of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, a regional organization dedicated to preserving and enjoying our history, culture and natural resources throughout the Berkshires and adjacent Litchfield County, CT.  Dan is an ardent supporter of sustainable practices, and enjoys working to keep the region thriving economically.  More information at www.HousatonicHeritage.org.