The Insiders Guide to Getting Outside
Posted on August 08, 2023Written by Nancy Macy on behalf of 1Berkshire
Updated on August 23, 2023
Explore the Berkshires on a unique outdoor adventure!
The Berkshires is home to the state’s highest waterfall, tallest mountain, and a 90-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail. With dense forests, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and sparkling lakes all within a short drive, there’s plenty of outdoor adventure for every ability. Here are eight unforgettable experiences you won’t find anywhere else! Discover more action-packed activities in the Berkshires here.
America’s longest zipline
The mile-long Catamonster zipline at Catamount Mountain Resort combines an adrenaline rush with views of the Berkshires and Hudson Valley. A scenic chairlift ride gets you to the starting point (you can opt for just the chairlift without the zipline part). You decide if the way down is fast or slow. For more heart-pumping fun, explore the aerial adventure parks at Catamount, Jiminy Peak, and Ramblewild.
Longest mountain coaster in New England
It’s at Berkshire East and it’s called the Thunderbolt, and one descent on its 3,870 feet of curving downhill track will show you why. You control whether you race to the bottom or ease up. Either way, this is one exhilarating coaster ride!
Highest waterfall in Massachusetts
Bash Bish Brook on the New York/Massachusetts state line takes a spectacular 80-foot plunge into an emerald pool before winding on its way through a lush forest. Pick up the 1.5-mile trail to the viewing point overlooking the falls from the New York side. Find more waterfalls and places to cool off in the Berkshires here.
Speaking of fast-moving water, how about a whitewater rafting trip? Zoar Outdoor and Crab Apple Whitewater, both just east of the Berkshires, offer short- and multi-day trips on the Deerfield River perfect for families and groups.
Tallest mountain in Massachusetts
On a clear day, panoramic views from Mt. Greylock’s 3,491-foot summit span across five states and up to 90 miles. Pick a hiking trail or drive up on the paved Scenic Byway that starts at the visitor center on Rockwell Rd. Up top, discover a bit of Berkshire history inside Bascom Lodge and the 92-foot Veterans War Memorial Tower.
850+ miles of mapped trails (with an app)
The Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) acquires natural spaces in Berkshire County and opens them up for exploring on foot. Find (and share) your desired adventure with the BNRC app, whether that’s a prime fishing spot, leisurely forest walk or rigorous miles-long hike. The Trustees and Mass Audubon also maintain trails that connect you to local flora and fauna.
Guided group walks on the Berkshire Camino
After two inspirational experiences walking town to town across the 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain, Berkshire Camino’s founder, Mindy Miraglia, brought the idea home. Day hikes and multi-day excursions are
curated guided tours designed for mindful exploration of the history, culture and scenic beauty of the Berkshires.
Hot air ballooning
For the adventure of a lifetime and the reward of breathtaking views with less physical exertion than a hike, soar over the treetops with Spirit Ballooning. This is a wonderful way to see the summer landscape of the Berkshires and an absolutely brilliant way to get a closeup view of the changing foliage colors in the fall.
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