It’s no secret that autumn is a gorgeous season in the Berkshires
By Kevin Pink, 1Berkshire
Across these rolling hills, lush greenery gives way to explosions of color. Looking up through a canopy of red, orange, and yellow to a clear and deep-blue sky and taking a deep breath of crisp cool air, it’s easy to understand how millions of people have fallen in love with this experience. For those planning to visit the Berkshires this autumn, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the fall foliage.
The region is full of enchanting woodland trails just waiting for you to explore. Feel the crunch of leaves underfoot as you freely stroll the gorgeous Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, the 50+ miles of trails maintained by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (check out the new Mahanna Cobble trail!), Greylock Glen, Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and Notchview. For a more guided experience, visit Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center or join a contemplative walk with Berkshire Camino. You may encounter beautiful foliage or old stone walls, but you will certainly find yourself with breathtaking views of autumn in all its glory (remember to bring your mask and practice social distancing).
Maybe you don’t feel like a hike, or you want to see more of the Berkshires than you could on foot? Driving offers views just as gorgeous as you travel through charming New England downtowns, rolling farmland, and quiet country roads. The grandest view of all comes from the highest point in the state- the summit of Mount Greylock in Adams. Chart your own route through the Berkshires, or check out this list of Berkshire Scenic Driving Tours.
Seeing the leaves from the ground is nice, but what about getting a look from their level? If you’re interested in a more active foliage experience, you’ll find plenty of options in the Berkshires. Check out the Aerial Adventure Park and Mountain Adventure Park at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort packed with family-friendly activities including a mountain coaster and alpine slide. Check out ziplining at Zoar Outdoor and Berkshire East Mountain Resort, or take on the Catamonster (the longest zipline in the US at 5,523 feet) at Catamount Mountain Resort. Or experience the forest from 45 feet up in Ramblewild’s 10-acre Tree-to-Tree Adventure Park featuring a variety of aerial challenges. Another way to sore? Book a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Spirit Ballooning.
If you’re at home on the water, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to paddle in the midst of autumn’s splendor. Pontoosuc Lake and Onota Lake (rent a boat from Onota Boat Livery) in Pittsfield, Cheshire Reservoir, Richmond Pond, Stockbridge Bowl, Laurel Lake, Goose Pond, Lake Buel, and more make for excellent kayaking and canoeing. For a guided experience, contact Berkshire Canoe and Kayak Scenic Tours and enjoy a relaxing trip on the Housatonic River.
Like all good things, peak foliage season is fleeting. The New England.com Peak Fall Foliage map identifies late September through mid-October as the prime time for beautiful Berkshire foliage. So whether you’re making a day trip or joining us for a longer stay, now is a great time to visit and enjoy the allure of autumn in the Berkshires.
Top photo: Hiking at Mount Greylock. Photo by Kacey Hatch.
Middle photo: Mountain coaster at Jiminy Peak.
Bottom photo: Paddling at Mount Everett State Reservation. Photo by Ogden Gigli.