With the first day of spring less than a week away, it is natural that our thoughts should turn to the great outdoors. When it comes to breathtaking scenery, you would be hard pressed to beat the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Our mountains and forests are dotted with rivers, lakes, and picturesque waterfalls. Best of all, we also have plenty of easily accessible parks and trails.
The convenient location of Brook Farm Inn, our Lenox-area B&B, puts all the best of the Berkshires right at your feet. Many our guests are eager to explore the area and we have plenty of suggestions for hiking the Berkshires.
One of our favorite spots for hiking the Berkshires has to be Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is located right here in Lenox, just minutes from our door. The preserve encompasses more than 1,000 acres with a variety of terrain, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and the slopes of Lenox Mountain. Pleasant Valley’s hiking trails vary from easy to strenuous, with something for everyone. The park makes it easy to choose your hike based on distance and elevation.
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, as the name suggests, also offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. In particular, the antics of the active beaver colony in Pike’s Pond is hard to miss. Seasonal river and lake canoe trips are also available.
The park is open year ’round, with slightly expanded hours between Memorial Day and Columbus Day. The park is located at 472 West Mountain Road, in Lenox, with a non-member entrance fee of $5. Learn more online at www.massaudubon.org.
Another favorite trail hub for hiking the Berkshires is Olivia’s Overlook at Yokun Ridge.
Olivia’s Overlook is a worthy destination all on its own. The stunning vista seen from the overlook are hard to beat. Once you’re done soaking up the view, however you may be interested to note that the spot also serves as a trail-head hub.
A variety of trails split off from Olivia’s Overlook. The Walsh Trail offers a gradual climb and stunning views. The Burbank Trail will lead you down to the quiet and contemplative waters of Monks Pond. Brothers Trail offers the lightly trickling pools of Shadow Brook. A nearby boardwalk through the wetland near Jackson Pond offers excellent bird-watching opportunities.
Get directions and learn more about Olivia’s Overlook on Yokun Ridge online at www.bnrc.org.
Hiking the Berkshires
You can find even more Berkshires hiking suggestions online.