The Berkshires Blog

Fun on Top of the Water

It’s officially summer in the Berkshires which means long, relaxing days on our pristine lakes and exciting whitewater adventures on our raging mountain rivers. Whether you choose to kick back on a gentle cruise, or take on the action of river rafting and chasing trophy-sized sport fish, the waters of the Berkshires have just what you’re looking for.

Boat Rentals

Cruise the lakes of central Berkshire County while in control of your own boat. With boat rentals from Onota Boat Livery and U-Drive Rent-a-Boat (on Onota Lake and Pontoosuc Lake, respectively), you can get out on the water at your own pace. Whether you choose to explore the shorelines, anchor and swim, or fish for trout, bass, pike and more, a boat rental is the best way to get on the lakes around Pittsfield, without the schedule of a guide or tour group. Pontoon boats for picnics and cruising, open-hull fishing boats for chasing sport fish, or kayaks and paddle boats for quiet exploration of the coves, bays, and open water, you’ll have your choice of adventure.


The Berkshires’ lakes, ponds and rivers deliver some of the best sport fishing in the Northeast. From plentiful pike and big bass in the still water, to the world-class trout fisheries of the Deerfield, Housatonic and Westfield, you’ll have endless choices for your next fishing adventure. And best of all, each fishing destination in the Berkshires is within an hour of Pittsfield, allowing you to experience multiple waters in a single weekend or even day! Check out our list of county-wide fishing locations or for even better luck, visit the Berkshire Fishing Club for some of the best large-mouth bass fishing in the country.

The Berkshire Fishing Club is located on a private lake near Great Barrington. The lake doesn’t have any houses, doesn’t allow jetskis and is devoid of large boats. In fact, the only boats on the water are those that you can rent from the club, or the boats that club members bring themselves, resulting in a truly unique bass fishing experience. If bass are your fish, then you’ll want to be at the Berkshire Fishing Club this summer.

Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking

The rivers of the Berkshires provide extreme excitement and gentle relaxation at the same time. From their rushing headwaters to their gentle pools far below, our rivers deliver fun for everyone, at every speed. The Deerfield River in Charlemont not only provides world class fishing, but is possibly even better known for its world-class whitewater rafting and kayaking. Thanks to a dam release at the Fife Brook Dam, that happens at about 11 o’clock just about weekend day of the summer, the river delivers not only wonderfully exciting whitewater, but dependable water flows that are cool and refreshing. To tackle the rapids, you’ll want to go with a whitewater tour. Rafting and kayak operations like Zoar Outdoor, and Crabapple Whitewater [] each provide rafting and kayak adventures on the Deerfield for all levels of experience.

Canoe Tours

For a relaxing canoeing experience with room for learning, a nature tour of one of the region’s many waterways is an alternative to the excitement of whitewater. With Berkshire Scenic Treks and Canoe Tours you can explore the coves and wetlands that bustle with wildlife. Bull frogs, butterflies and the impressive great blue heron are all waiting to be discovered, along with countless other fauna and flora scattered throughout the lakes and ponds of the Berkshires. These tours are must-sees for any nature lover!

Wherever your summer takes you, make sure that it includes an adventure on the water in the Berkshires. If you’re looking for a thrill, relaxation or a little of both, you can find it on the lakes, ponds and rivers of the Berkshires. All you need is a boat of your choice and the rest of the adventure is up to you.