Hiking and Biking
Whether you're an experienced mountaineer, serious cyclist or just looking to relax in nature's splendor, the dramatic landscape of the Berkshires begs exploration.
Warm up at The Cascades, a natural oasis in the heart of North Adams. Accessible from Marion Avenue off Rte. 2 W., this heavily wooded trail meanders along Notch Brook for an easy half-mile before reaching The Cascades, a stunning 50-foot waterfall.
Once your legs have loosened up, head south to Pittsfield State Forest. A myriad of trails offer endless hiking possibilities, but the moderately steep Honwee Trail is the most direct route to Berry Pond, which at 2,060 feet is the highest natural body of water in the Berkshires. Be sure to stop along the 2.5-mile trek to enjoy panoramic views of New York State's Catskills.
For the best mix of history and hiking, continue south to Monument Mountain, off Rte. 7 near Great Barrington. Relive the first meeting of legendary writers Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne as you hike, and sometimes climb, up the rugged trail to Squaw Peak. Picnicking is a popular activity here, however, the servants Melville and Hawthorne employed to carry their foodstuffs are conspicuously absent, meaning it's up to you to lug lunch up the mountain.
Biking the Berkshires means exploring quaint colonial villages, pedaling through colorful, gently rolling hills and challenging your body and spirit with intense mountain climbs.
Among the toughest and most rewarding rides in the Berkshires is the leg-pumping, heart-pounding Mt. Greylock circuit. From Williamstown, the 40-mile route follows the Green River before shooting up nearly 3,500 feet to the summit of Mt. Greylock. Gorgeous views of the surrounding reservoirs and hillsides, along with a thrilling descent, await the experienced rider.
Design your own historical tour through colonial towns like Pittsfield and Lenox, or contact the local Chamber of Commerce - most are happy to suggest itineraries and can refer biking enthusiasts to area cycling associations and businesses.