Biking the Berkshires
The Berkshires offer wonderful outdoor experiences for biking enthusiasts. The following are some selected scenic routes not to be missed.
Great Barrington - North Egremont Loop: 6.2 miles round-trip.
This ride is flat at first, becomes hilly later and finishes with a downhill. Begin on Rt. 7 at the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce booth. Head south for 0.2 miles then turn right on Rt. 23 for 1.8 miles. Make another right on Rt. 71 and keep going for 0.2 miles. Turn right on Hurlburt Road and proceed 2.3 miles (uphill) to the Albert Schweitzer Center (now closed). Keep going for another 0.5 miles to Alford Road and make a right. A welcome 1.7-mile descent brings you back to your starting point.
Stockbridge - Cherry Hill Challenge: 4.8 miles round-trip.
Start at the Red Lion Inn and follow Rt. 102 west for 0.4 miles. Go straight at the clock tower and Town Hall. At the Stockbridge golf course bridge, bear right then go straight. Cross the railroad tracks and turn right on Rt. 183 North. After about half a mile, the Norman Rockwell Museum will be on the right; keep going for another 0.6 miles to the intersection of Rts. 183 and 102; the Botanical Garden will be on the left. Make a right onto Rt. 102 East and follow it 1.5 miles to the intersection with the clock tower and Town Hall. Make a left and continue for 0.4 miles, back to the Red Lion Inn.
Estates Odyssey, Lenox: 5 miles round-trip.
This ride gives some sense of the grand estates in the Lenox area that were built between 1890 and 1910. Begin at Lenox Town Hall and head out on Walker Street. Make a right on Kemble Street, leaving Trinity Church on the left. Proceed past the National Music Center (at right) and at 0.9 miles, Canyon Ranch will be on the left. At 1.5 miles cross Rt. 7 at the light at Plunkett Street. The driveway for The Mount will be on the right. Keep going along Plunkett Street for 0.9 miles and cross Rt. 20 for East Street. Cranwell resort will be on the left. Follow East Street for 0.7 miles and make a left on Walker Street. Proceed for 0.9 miles. Cross Rt. 7 at the traffic light and continue for 1 mile, back to Lenox Town Hall.
Moby Dick (Pittsfield - North Lenox): 11.2 miles round-trip.
Begin at the Park Square information booth in Pittsfield. Go right on Wendell Avenue for 0.3 miles, then left at the traffic light on East Housatonic Street. At 0.2 miles, make a right at the traffic light on Appleton Avenue. After a short downhill, bear left at the intersection, cross the Housatonic River via the bridge, then make a right on Appleton Avenue. After another 0.2 miles, take a left onto Williams Street, then ride for a half mile to the intersection with Holmes Road. Cross Holmes and keep straight along Williams. After 0.5 miles, go right on East Lenox Road for a 3-mile downhill. October Mountain will be on the left. Continue for another 3 miles then make a right on New Lenox Road. Follow this for 1.1 miles then take a right onto East Road. Go right on Holmes Road after 0.9 miles; Arrowhead will be on the left after another half mile. Two miles after Arrowhead, make a left on Williams Street at the traffic light. Make a right back onto Appleton Avenue, then left over the bridge, then right again. Go left on East Housatonic Street at the traffic light marking the intersection with Appleton. At 0.4 miles, make a right on Wendell Avenue. At the intersection with East Street, go left for the information booth.
North Adams to Visitor's Center at Mt. Greylock Reservation: 27.1 miles one-way.
Begin at the North Adams City Hall and head up West Main Street for 0.2 miles until the intersection of Rt. 2. Make a left and proceed for 1.4 miles (pass Notch Road at 1.1. miles). Turn right on Roberts Drive and make a left onto Massachusetts Avenue at the merge. Keep going for 3.1 miles and make a left onto Coles Avenue. Go over the railroad bridge and at 0.7 miles make a right onto Rt. 2. After another 0.1 mile, make a left onto Water Street (marked as Rt. 43). Ride 4.8 miles along Green River Road to Steele's Corners. Make a left and continue for 9.6 miles. When you see the sign for the Visitor's Center, make a left onto North Main Street. Bear right on Quarry Road for 1.2 miles to Rockwell Road. Go left on Rockwell Road for 0.7 miles, to the Visitor's Center at Mt. Greylock Reservation.
Editor's note: A selection of tours from Bike Rides In the Berkshire Hills by Lewis C. Cuyler (Berkshire House Publishers).