The Berkshires Blog

An Outdoor “Man”ual

Take a walk on the wild side.

Everyone knows that the Berkshires has everything you could want in arts, culture, food and spirits, but if you’re looking for a guys’ getaway in the outdoors, you can find that here too. Whether you want to rough it on a leisurely backpacking trip up to Massachusetts’s highest peak or put your fitness skills to the test before a pampered recovery at one of the region’s spas, the Berkshires serves up options for any preference of outdoor fun.

Do you long for the days of climbing trees, rope swinging, and monkey bars? At Ramblewild’s Tree-to-Tree Adventure Park in Lanesborough, you’ll find all of the excitement of your childhood jungle gym multiplied by 1,400. On these 1,400 pristine mountainside acres, Ramblewild’s ten-acre aerial adventure park is a series of elevated rope, wire and log obstacles and ziplines suspended 15 feet in the air. Clip your harness into the guide cable and tackle each obstacle at your own pace. Just make sure to bring your A-game if you’re with your buddies because some of the advanced obstacles require upper body strength and mental fitness to complete. The fun challenge of Ramblewild’s Tree-to-Tree Adventure Park will provide ample opportunities for a little ribbing of your best buds for years to come. Don’t miss this manly adventure.

If you’re more of a water sports kind of guy, the whitewater of the Deerfield River in Charlemont challenges the most experienced kayakers, canoers, and rafters. It’s one thing to take on the Class IV water in the warmth of summer, but what about the added challenge of a wet and wild, cold fall day? Book a rafting trip with Zoar Outdoor when the fall rains begin to refill the Deerfield’s boulder-strewn riverbed and you’ll face one of the East’s most intimidating whitewater, side-by-side with your buddies, relying on each other to avoid a cold dip in the raging river. No matter what you are looking to do in the great outdoors the Berkshires will have it.

At 3,491 feet, Mt. Greylock is the highest peak in the state. With more than 50 miles of hiking trails and most summit trails with 2,000+ foot ascents, Mt. Greylock State Reservation ranks up there with any hiking destination in the Northeast. However, unlike many high peaks in the northeast, Mt. Greylock’s summit is also home to a rustic 1930’s lodge constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. You can even sleep and eat there!

The Bascom Lodge offers rooms, breakfast, lunch, and dinner from May to late October (lodging reservations required, check the website for details). The lodge is a great place for casual visitors, day hikers and Appalachian trail thru-hikers looking to treat themselves for a night or two on their long journey. Looking for a challenge with a well-deserved reward? Hike Greylock’s fabled ski trail, the Thunderbolt Trail, for a 2 mile, 2,275 vertical ascent blast to the summit. Catch the sunset, grab dinner, and settle in for a cozy rest at the top of Massachusetts. The hike down in the morning will be all the sweeter.

Be sure to see our Cozy Pubs & Taverns article for ideas on how to end the day with some tasty food and a locally brewed pint. Whether it’s a manly getaway or a mix of challenge and relaxation, the natural resources of the Berkshires have everything you need for an epic outdoor adventure. All you need to bring is the will to explore and these mountains, forests, and rivers will definitely deliver. Be sure to see our Cozy Pubs & Taverns article for ideas on how to end the day with some tasty food and a locally brewed pint.