As the buds pop on the trees, trails dry up and forest creatures return to more active summer activities, take the opportunity to discover the awakening world of the Berkshires in spring with these great events!
Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Floodplain Forest Canoe Trip & Great Blue Heron Rookery Viewing, Tamarack Hollow Nature Center, Windsor, MA – Head up to the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center for a guided canoe trip of the Mill River and Marsh area floodplain, followed by a walking tour of the Great Blue Heron rookery. One of the most magnificent animals in our region, the Great Blue Heron, returns to nest in groups averaging 160 nests per colony each spring. Unmistakable in this area, with its wingspan exceeding six feet, this is a rare opportunity to view the action of a rookery with the assistance of a guide. The paddling portion of the the trip is geared for more experienced paddlers, so beginners will have to wait this one out (but don’t hesitate to let Tamarack Hollow and Mass Audubon know you’re interested in a beginner trip). You’ll want to pack a lunch and water for the day. If you’re looking to grab something on the way up to Windsor, stop in at Berkshire Organics in Dalton for some healthy, delicious food to keep you going all day. Register at www.massaudubon.org or call 413-584-3009.
Saturday & Sunday, May 25 – 26, 8 a.m. – 4th Annual Memorial Day Marathon Races, Lenox/Great Barrington/Stockbridge, MA – Quickly becoming the active event of the year in the Berkshires, the 4th Annual Memorial Day Marathon Races offer seven different running race formats for every level, interest, ability and style.
If you’re interested in crossing your hiking with your running, Saturday kicks off with an 8:15 a.m. start to the Trail Race, which sends runners across 15 kilometers of wooded trails, around Yokun Ridge (I’ll be highlighting Yokun Ridge in a hiking post later this summer). This year, for the first time, runners can compete in both the Trail Run and any one of Sunday’s road runs as part of an official Trail-Road challenge.
Kids get their opportunity to test their endurance with a quarter-mile run for ages 6 and under and a half mile run for ages 7 – 10, starting on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
Sunday’s full marathon, which winds its way from Tanglewood, around Stockbridge Bowl, along the Housatonic River and then back north through the center of Stockbridge, offers both a beautiful course for runners and plenty of fun spots for supporters to cheer along the way. You’ll also find opportunities to compete or cheer on Sunday with the half marathon, 10k and 5k events.
Whether you’re a runner or hiker, or just want to cheer on these inspirational athletes, take some time before you fire up the BBQ on Memorial Day Weekend to check out these races!
Want to practice trail running? Check out Kennedy Park in Lenox for some nice learning terrain.