Two Seasons of Adventure
Winter in the Berkshires is no time to hibernate. Dare Jack Frost to nip at your nose as you ski down our popular slopes. Build snowmen, make snow angels or just get out and take in our winter wonderland; you’ll hear only the crunch of crisp white snow beneath your steps. Winter’s quiet beauty is rivaled only by the first blush of spring, when hiking, canoeing, fishing and golf are in full swing.
Before you lies a panorama of majestic mountains blanketed in a white, snowy cover; you see your breath in the cold, clear air. Poised atop a precipice set against a powder blue sky, you prepare for an exhilarating downhill run. Sounds like a skier’s dream come true, and in the Berkshires, it is. Ski Butternut in Great Barrington (413-528-2000) ranges from family-friendly hills to black diamond slopes, and just added a tubing park for even more fun in the snow. Catamount Ski Area in Hillsdale, New York (518-325-3200 or 413-528-1262) has a snowboard park as well as stellar skiing. Both offer cross-country and downhill skiing, lessons and children’s programs and are usually open from November to April. If speed’s not your thing, try a guided snowshoeing expedition and see winter wildlife up-close. Call Berkshires Scenic Treks and Canoe Tours at 413-442-2789.
Hooked on Fishing
The next time you boast, “I caught one THIS BIG!” you won’t be telling fish tales – if your catch came from the lake at the Berkshire Fishing Club. Nestled in the gently rolling hills of western Massachusetts, the club comprises 850 beautifully wooded acres surrounding a sparkling, private lake just teaming with largemouth bass and chain pickerel. In addition to excellent fishing, club members enjoy fishing schools, hiking and bird-watching, canoeing and relaxing at the rustic log cabin clubhouse overlooking the lake. The club is open May through October. Call 413-243-5761 for membership information.
Can You Canoe?
You certainly can with Berkshire Scenic Treks and Canoe Tours. The company leads relaxing river paddles year ‘round, providing everything you need to ensure a tranquil afternoon on the water. Expect to see deer, songbirds, fox, beaver, and maybe a bear fishing for dinner or a bobcat lunching on duck. The ever-changing flora and fauna may include red-tail hawks, owls or Canadian Geese; tall cottonwoods, sycamore, cinnamon ferns and spicebushes. Each tour begins at Decker’s Landing in New Lenox and lasts approximately two hours. Call 413-442-2789 to learn more.
Love My Llama
Sounds silly, but it’s true. Repeat visitors to Hawkmeadow Guest Farm often request the same llama that accompanied them on previous hikes through the forested trails just outside Lee. There’s a reason. Llamas love humans, all sizes and ages, and are particularly gentle with children. Friendly, furry and sporting names like “Cisco” and “Picasso,” the llamas of Berkshire Mountain Llama Hike are bright, personable, and, well, loveable. These intelligent creatures, often termed “the land version of the dolphin,” make excellent hiking companions and are even said to have healing powers. A one- to three-hour hike with a llama is sure to create a lifetime of memories. Call 413-243-2224 for an appointment.
Where better to perfect your putt than at a luxurious, award-winning resort in the beautiful Bershires? Set on a hilltop affording spectacular mountain views, the 380-acre Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club is open year ‘round and features 107 deluxe guest rooms, an 18-hole championship golf course and the nationally renowned Golf Digest School. It also has meeting and banquet space, Har-Tru tennis courts, an outdoor heated pool, cross-country skiing trails and three top-rated restaurants. A 12-acre driving range, two practice putting greens and private lessons by experienced PGA staff are just par for the course. For reservations, call 800-272-6935.