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Where to Chill Out and Cool Off in the Berkshires!

Posted on July 07, 2022Written by Gretchen M. Michelfeld

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“As everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

It is a well-known and beautiful fact that the sound of lake water gently lapping against a pebbly shore takes us to our “happy place.” Then there are those of us for whom the rush of whitewater rafting or the triumph of landing that big lunker after a day of fishing is what summer relaxation is all about! 

Here in the Berkshires we’ve got you covered! 

Gone fishing!

The Berkshire Fishing Club  has long been a favorite of Becket-area anglers. This private lake with no jet-skis or large boats and fabulous largemouth bass fishing conditions, offers members the opportunity to reserve a boat for a day of great fishing. Not an area resident? Try a one-day trial pass (which can be credited towards a full membership, if you like) and bring the family for a whole day of fun! Just starting out or hoping to hone your skills? Take a class at the club and learn all about fish biology and behavior, rods, reels and lures, and even the proper handling of your catch. The club offers hiking and canoeing opportunities as well. Make sure to call ahead for reservations: (413) 243-5761. 

Rollin’ on the (Deerfield) River!

In 1989, family-owned Crab Apple Whitewater, Inc. ran the first whitewater rafting trips on the Deerfield River, and they’ve been perfecting the rafting experience ever since. You and your group can choose a half or full day adventure on mild, intermediate, or “wild” whitewater as your thrilling trips are coordinated with regular dam releases from the many hydroelectric and flood control dams in the surrounding area. Marvel at the beauty of the Deerfield, get your blood pumping as you crash through the rapids, and bliss out as the water spray caresses your skin. 

Speaking of blissing out…

Stay in one of the vacation cottages at The Lakehouse, situated on the serene shores of the Pontoosuc Lake, and let yourself melt into the beautiful vistas and luxury accommodations. Prepare a delicious meal in the oven of your own well-appointed kitchen or outdoor grill, then enjoy the sunset while sipping a glass of wine on your own lakeside patio, or treat yourself to a gourmet lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch at the Proprietor’s Lodge restaurant right across the lake. They even have a late-night menu! Need a little more lake action? The Lakehouse offers complimentary kayaks, canoes, fishing equipment, and paddleboards. 

Have you ever explored the water on a pontoon boat? Visit the Black Swan Inn on beautiful Laurel Lake and give it a try! Not feeling super adventurous? Book a massage instead in their relaxing spa then watch the sunset over a delicious meal at the Black Swan’s Bombay Bar & Grill.

Keep Chasing those Waterfalls!

The repetitive sound of waterfalls is so relaxing it can induce a light hypnosis, and many say that the waterfall’s release of negative ions increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, reducing stress and anxiety. 

A moderate hike up to Bash Bish Falls rewards you with a chance to dangle your feet in the cool clear water, and feel the refreshing spray on your face. Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams offers easy, beginner trails and the reward of experiencing the only natural white marble arch in North America. The Berkshires are home to so many gorgeous waterfalls, you and your family could spend the whole summer exploring them. 

Plan a Berkshires vacation and discover why our waterfalls, lakes, and rivers are the most beautiful, relaxing, and invigorating experiences in the world! 

Photos: Laurel Lake, Lindsey Schmid; Black Swan Inn

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