Spring is a glorious season in the Berkshires, with the buttery sunshine beckoning the winter-weary individual to the outdoors to rediscover the beauty of the hills and valleys. Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail, learn to fly fish in the tumbling stream, or take a yoga class in one of the many studio that dot the area.
In a season of renewal and rejuvenation, many opt for a spa visit or restful, healing retreat. The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a leader in yoga training, offering programs for beginners and novices as well as advanced practitioners. Rejuvenate at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, where an array of health and wellness programs is offered in the elegant Bellefontaine Mansion.
Laced with hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and verdant fields, there is no better place to welcome the renewal of spring. Watch the gradual greening of new foliage at one of the myriad forests and parks with a leisurely stroll or the bracing up-and-down of a challenging hiking trail. The breathtaking Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington are the highest waterfalls in Massachusetts; in Tyringham, the enchanting Ashintully Gardens, a property of the Trustees of Reservations, offers scenic walks through a terraced landscape.
Some call it the mud season, but for the dedicated birdwatcher, a pair of sturdy green Wellies to keep feet dry and binoculars slung around the neck are all the gear needed to enjoy a day of birding. The Audubon Society’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary boasts seven miles of trails on their 1,142-acres in Lenox.
One of the sure signs of spring is the appearance of buckets on maple trees just as the last of the snow is disappearing. Ioka Valley Farm is renowned for their syrup and every spring opens a cafe just for breakfast where you can enjoy the fresh maple syrup on a stack of pancakes and then visit the sugar house to learn all about the making of maple syrup.
- March 34°F
- April 45°F
- May 56°F
In the nineteenth century, the era dubbed the Gilded Age, the natural beauty of the Berkshires attracted city dwellers for idyllic vacations among the lakes and hills and many wealthy visitors built mansions and villas they called “cottages” as seasonal retreats.
The Mount, the Lenox home of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton, is one such “cottage,” now beautifully restored and operated as a historic house museum with extraordinary gardens, Ventfort Hall, another example also in Lenox was built by the Morgan family and is now open to the public.
A number of other Berkshire “cottages” have been meticulously renovated and are in use as sumptuous B&Bs, where the luxurious surroundings of a by-gone era can be enjoyed along with up-to-date amenities. Choose an inn that was once part of a sprawling estate, set in the midst of woods and fields, or select one with an in-town location, walking distance to shopping and restaurants.
Visitors can also harken back to an earlier era, when Hancock Shaker Village was a thriving agricultural enterprise and spring brought piglets and lambs and chicks to the farm. You won’t want to miss the annual spring celebration of Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm at this living history museum.
- Baby Animals at Hancock Shaker Village
- Antique Car Show at Chesterwood
- Maple Sugaring at Ioka Valley Farm