The fall foliage in Massachusetts peaks in October and draws many visitors. Fall foliage trips are a popular activity around this time of year and we hope that for your 2012 fall foliage tour you will pick our Berkshires bed and breakfast as your premier lodging choice.
Autumn Foliage Maps
The state’s official Tourism site has a useful map describing foliage peak conditions in different areas of Massachusetts. The map indicates the Berkshires will be at peak color during the third week of October, and the eastern portion of the state by Nov. 6.
Berkshire Foliage Colors via Hike and Bike
Immerse yourself in the warm hues of fall! A favorite way to do this is via hiking, biking or running. There are a variety of organized excursions and independent treks to visit the fall foliage. Here are a few:
Housatonic Heritage Ride -Sun Oct 2, 9 AM – Sheffield Town Hall. Explore the 29 quaint towns of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.
Running Routes: Stunning routes through the small towns of Lenox, Great Barrington, Williamstown and Stockbridge will give you a chance to take your time observing the changing leaves. For something more rural, try going up onto Mount Greylock and over the Mohawk Trail, the same foot path Native Americans used centuries ago.
Berkshire Foliage Driving Tours
The Mohawk Trail Association offers five suggested driving tours in western Massachusetts that are perfect for observing foliage in Berkshires, Massachusetts.
Tour 1: Mount Greylock (26 miles)
On a clear day, Mount Greylock can provide wide views of scenic Massachusetts. Greylock is Massachusetts’ highest peak, at 3491 feet. Allow half a day for this tour. This route starts one mile north of Lanesborough on Route 7.
Tour 2: Mohawk Trail, Savoy State Forest (55 miles)
Williamstown, the home of Williams College, is the starting place for this foliage tour. This route covers most of the outstanding features in northern section of Berkshire County.
Tour 3: Mount Greylock / North Berkshire (33 miles)
This tour of scenic northern Berkshire County is on the western edge of the Mohawk Trail and starts in North Adams at City Hall at Route 8 and Marshall Street.
Tour 4: North Berkshire / Mohawk Trail (53 miles)
This scenic tour brings you north on Route 7 to The Mohawk Trail. Starting in Pittsfield, take Route 7 to Lanesborogh. Continue north on Route 7 to South Williamstown to the historic five corners. Here several walking tours to historic houses are available.
Tour 5: Mohawk Trail / Pioneer Valley (55 miles)
This tour begins in Greenfield at the eastern part of the Mohawk Trail. Watch an early sunrise from the Poet’s Seat Tower by driving east on Main Street to High Street, then follow the signs to the Tower. Return to Main Street, Route 2A, go west and turn left on Route 5 which takes you through the meadowlands of the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers, site of the Deerfield Massacre in 1704.
Quite a few guests of our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast come here in order to be closer to nature. Many live in Boston, New York City, and Hartford. They crave the outdoors, the fresh air, the quiet, and they find it in the Berkshires.
A favorite activity is hiking, which can accommodate most all fitness levels. Intrepid hikers can summit the tallest peak in the region, Mount Greylock. Folks looking for more of an amble through the woods may prefer the Tranquility Trail in the Pittsfield State Forest, a gentle, half-mile trail through deciduous forest and hemlock stands.
Hikes in Western Massachusetts are plentiful. A few favorites are listed below:
Monument Mountain, just south of Stockbridge. Herman Melville spent many hours exploring Monument Mountain, sometimes with his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne. Conversations during those hikes helped inspire Melville’s great opus, Moby Dick. Just think what a hike here could bring out in you. There are three miles of trails around Monument Mountain. If you make it to the top of Squaw Peak, you’ll be rewarded with wonderful views.
Schermerhorn Gorge Trail in October Mountain State Forest. This 3.7-mile loop features some dramatic contrasts that make it truly lovely. It is considered difficult thanks to a few tricky and steep spots, though it only gains about 600 feet in elevation.
The Benedict Pond Loop, in the Beartown Forest. This 1.5-mile loop is pleasant any time of year. For the most part, it hugs the coast of the shallow Benedict Pond and gains little elevation. The trail can be a bit moist in areas, but the landscape is lovely.
The Appalachain Trail. The AT passes close to our Berkshires Inn, and some of our guests simply must get their feet on it. We understand, and we help many guests realize that dream. Since the Appalachian Trail is best done one-way, we help drop a car at one trail head and shuttle guests to another one.
At the end of the day, no matter how long the hike or how strenuous, we invite our guests to relax with wine and cheese in our parlor. It is a reward well earned.
The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail meanders through the Hoosic River Valley between Mount Greylock and the Hoosac Mountains. Ashuwillticook means “the pleasant river between the hills”, and the ride does indeed pass through some very lovely country. It has been enjoyed by many guests of our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast.
The trail runs just over 11 miles between the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough and the Visitor’s Center in Adams. Cyclists pass Chester Reservoir (a good spot for bird watching and picnics), forests, and historic mill buildings on the other side of the Hoosic River. In Adams, the trail runs parallel to Main Street, where there are many good eateries and shops.
For a longer ride, cycle from our luxury Berkshires Bed and Breakfast in Lee, approximately 16 miles south of Lanesborough. You’ll find a dip in our pool and our wine and cheese hour extremely satisfying in the evening.
Herman Melville, author of the American classic Moby-Dick (among others), spent his early childhood in the high society of New York City and his adolescence living less affluently in Albany, NY. His first visit to the farm in Pittsfield that was purchased by his grandfather was in 1832, when Herman Melville was just thirteen. His reaction was immediate and strong – he loved the farm and the land on which it stood.
The beauty of the Berkshires, particularly the view of Mount Greylock from the family farm, eventually inspired Melville to move to the region permanently. In 1850, he purchased a neighboring farm that enjoyed the same views of Mount Greylock and moved there with his wife and his young son. They named their homestead Arrowhead after the Native American arrowheads found in the fields, and resided in the 1783 farmhouse for thirteen years. Many of his finest works, including Moby-Dick, were penned in the second-floor library at Arrowhead.
Arrowhead remained in the Melville family until 1927. It was purchased by the Berkshire Historical Society in 1975; restoration of the farm buildings began shortly thereafter, and continues to this day. Arrowhead houses an extensive collection of Melville manuscripts along with other items overseen by the Berkshire Historical Society.
Arrowhead is open to the public daily between Memorial Day and October, and for several special events throughout the year. One such event takes place this weekend and next weekend, February 12, 13 and February 18 – 20, 2011: the Candlelight and Chocolate Tours. This is a wonderful activity for guests of our luxury Berkshires Bed and Breakfast.
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Temperatures are climbing and snow is melting. Spring is here.
You can hear the Berkshires calling to you from Boston, Hartford, and NYC. Your legs are yearning to stretch out along a trail. You want to hear birds, not traffic.
It’s time to take a break from city living. Come to our Lee bed and breakfast for a few days. There are many trails nearby, just waiting for you. You may also want to drive 20 miles north of Lenox to Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. From the top, you’ll feel your spirit soar.