Applegate Inn
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Category Archives: outdoor activities

Cross Country Ski Berkshire Style

January 12, 2013 by Katie Pate

Come and enjoy the pristine, snowy trails of the Berkshire winter! We have a couple favorite places to cross country ski that are close to our Berkshire bed and breakfast in Lee, MA.

Canterbury Farm

With 22 Kilometers of groomed and tracked trails, you ski alongside beautiful brooks, beaver ponds, stone walls, lakes, fields and mountains. It is very picturesque! The trails meander through old wood stands and you really feel like you are deep in the wilderness. Other trails are wider for excellent ski skating.

If you’re a beginner, ski instructors will teach you the best techniques and skills so you can quickly be off to enjoy the winter woods. The rental equipment at Canterbury is well maintained and their ski shop employees can help you with fitting or repairs to your ski equipment. They also have hot chili, soup, wraps, cold and hot drinks and snacks available.

Ice skating is also available, with with optional lessons and equipment rentals.

Canterbury Farm is located at 1986 Fred Snow Rd. in Becket, about a 15 minute drive from the Inn.

Hilltop Orchard

Hilltop Orchard has well groomed ski trails

Hilltop Orchard has well groomed ski trails

The Orchard has lovely trails as well. In fact, Hilltop was called “The coziest place to cross country ski in the Berkshires” by Berkshire Magazine in 2012. 100% of trails are groomed for both classic and skating-style skiing – great for beginners and intermediates. The wooded country trails will challenge more experienced skiers. The scenic views into the southern Berkshires are breathtaking!

Trails Fees: $15 for adults, $12 children 12 and under. $1 off for seniors. Half days start at 2pm and are $12 for adults and $10 for children.

Hilltop Orchard is also a winery. If you’re traveling as a couple and skiing is not an interest for both of you, one of you can relax in the ‘Barrel Room’ on the comfy leather couches and enjoy a huge natural stone fireplace and LCD TV. Warm up with your sweetie upon their return from the trails with some hot chocolate, cider or a glass of wine.

Hilltop Orchard is on the border of Massachusetts and New York at Rt. 508 Canaan Rd. in Richmond, MA; about 20 minutes from our Inn.

Foliage in Massachusetts

September 28, 2012 by Katie Pate

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

Berkshires fall foliage

Enjoy the stunning colors of fall in the Berkshires.

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.

 

berkshires foliage driving tours

Driving routes for observing fall foliage in the Berkshires.

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.

Good Western Massachusetts Hikes

March 19, 2012 by Applegate Inn

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.

 

 

It’s Time to Ski in the Berkshires

January 4, 2012 by Applegate Inn

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Jiminy Peak is close to our Mass Bed and Breakfast.

Now that the holidays have passed and the cold days of winter are stretching before us, it’s time to think about ski getaways in the Berkshires. Our Berkshire B and B is close to several terrific downhill ski areas.

  • Ski Butternut, in Great Barrington, is about 12 miles from the inn.
  • Catamount Ski Area, in Hillsdale NY, is about 20 miles from here.
  • Jiminy Peak, up in Hancock, Massachusetts, is about 30 miles from our inn.

Although we haven’t received a healthy dose of snow since the Great Halloween Blizzard of 2011, all three ski areas are open, and all are making snow.

Ski Butternut is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends 8:15 to 4 p.m. This area also offers snow tubing on holidays and weekends.

Catamount Ski Area is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m (it opens at 8:30 on weekends); night skiing is offered Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m.

Jiminy Peak is open open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (opening at 8:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays). Live music frequently entices skiers to linger after leaving the slopes of Jiminy Peak. A full calendar of events is listed at Jiminy Peak.

Skiers who stay at our Mass Bed and Breakfast Monday through Friday will receive two free lift passes for Butternut Ski Area, or discount passes to Jiminy Peak. If you’d rather ski Catamount, take advantage of our three night, $50 Special Package and put the savings towards your ski tickets. Details about these and other specials are available on our Bed and Breakfast Berkshires Specials page.

Why not stay for several days and try all three ski areas? Folks who are traveling from New York City, Hartford, or Boston may find that stretching out a weekend makes the most sense; instead of driving out here every weekend, come out here every other weekend for three days. Less driving, more skiing. Wonderful.

 

 

Thanksgiving Weekend in the Berkshires

November 23, 2011 by Applegate Inn

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Bartholomew’s Cobble.

The best antidote to a day of feasting is fresh air and exercise. Both can be found in spades in Western Massachusetts. After spending Thursday in the kitchen and around the table, head to our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast with hiking boots in hand.

Snow accumulation from the amazing October blizzard has melted, meaning that hiking trails across Western Massachusetts are open. The forecast promises a sunny Thanksgiving weekend. In short, hiking conditions will be perfect.

Favorite Hikes Near Our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast:

  • Beartown State Forest. Hike the easy Benedict Pond Loop Trail; follow a stretch of the Appalachian Trail for a  hike of moderate difficulty; explore one of the forest trails for a more difficult hike.
  • Brace Mountain. The views from the top of Brace Mountain are glorious on a clear day. Bring a picnic, for you’ll want time to rest after this invigorating hike.
  • Bartholomew’s Cobble. Explore five miles of trails and stand atop Hurlbut’s Hill. Visit the natural history museum to learn about the area’s fascinating geography,  and historic Ashley House to learn about its history.
  • Sages Ravine. The waterfalls should be roaring at this time of year. For a moderate hike, drive to the top of Mount Washington Reservation and then follow the trail down tot he ravine. A more strenuous trail leads from the Undermountain Trail.

To make a reservation at our Bed and Breakfast in the Berkshires, please call 1.800.691.9012 or visit our reservation page.

Ride a Horse Through the Berkshires This Fall

September 25, 2011 by Applegate Inn

The trees have started to turn here, but fall foliage is not yet peaking in the Massachusetts Berkshires. Now is the right time to plan a trip here during peak season. Our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast tends to fill in October, when the surrounding forests are decked out in dazzling reds, oranges, and yellows. Plan now to be here then.

Earthy Palette

There is nothing like autumn in New England.

Driving down country lanes is a wonderful way to see a lot of trees. Spreading a picnic blanket under a large maple is a delightful way to drink in an autumn afternoon. But those who can delve deep into a New England forest during the peak of foliage season are truly fortunate.

Berkshire Horseback Adventures leads trail rides through nearby Kennedy Park and up Lenox Mountain. To experience New England foliage from the back of a horse is magical. The scent of the horses mixes with the woody odor of fallen leaves. The crisp air magnifies the sound of the horses breath, his feet clipping along the trail.

Leave New York, Boston, and Hartford behind and drive west like a cowboy heading into the sunset. Spend a few days at our Bed and Breakfast in the Berkshires this autumn. While here, treat yourself to a trail ride. It is sure to be one of the most memorable events of the year.

More information about trail rides may be found at Berkshire Horseback Adventures.

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail

August 9, 2011 by Applegate Inn

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.

Relax by our Berkshires Inn pool

Relax by the pool after a day of biking the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.

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.

Paddling in Western Massachusetts

July 19, 2011 by Applegate Inn

One of the best ways to spend a warm summer day is on (and in) water. Guests of our Lenox MA Bed and Breakfast are always welcome to spend as much time as they like in our pool, and for some, a pool is all the water they need. Others crave something else.

Fortunately there are many ways to experience the water in the Massachusetts Berkshires. Read on to learn about a few options:

Kayaker on the Housatonic River

One of the more thrilling sections of the Housatonic River.

  • Paddle the Housatonic River. Bring your own kayak or rent one at the Arcadian Shop in Lenox. The shop will deliver kayaks to the public boat launch at Decker’s Landing on the Housatonic River, and pick them up at Woods Pond.
  • Canoe the Housatonic River. Guided trips lasting approximately 2 hours are lead by Berkshires Canoe Tours, departing from Decker’s Landing in Lenox.
  • Float on Onota Lake in nearby Pittsfield. Onota Boat Livery rents kayaks, canoes, fishing boats and small motorized boats. Fish, float, or navigate the shores.
  • Explore Cheshire Lake. Berkshire Outfitters in Adams rents kayaks and canoes and will transport folks to Cheshire Lakes and a few other areas.

Many guests of our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast travel with their own kayaks and canoes. In addition to the Housatonic River, they explore Stockbridge Bowl and the many lakes, ponds, and reservoirs of October Mountain State Forest. Our guests always have plenty of energy to fuel their activities thanks to the delicious, abundant breakfasts served each morning at the inn.

Schermerhorn Gorge Trail

May 26, 2011 by Applegate Inn

We’ve put away our skis for the season and oiled our hiking boots. In the coming months, we plan to stretch our legs on the hike to Bish Bash Falls. Maybe we’ll walk a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, which runs through October Mountain State Forest and passes close to our Inn Berkshires. Perhaps we’ll also walk to Schermerhorn Gorge.

Hike the scenic Schermerhorn Gorge Trail this summer.

Many of our guests have enjoyed the scenic trail to Schermerhorn Gorge, in nearby October Mountain State Forest. It’s a 3.5-mile loop with a few fairly strenuous sections. We always suggest bringing a lunch, for there is an excellent spot to picnic along the way.

Cool off in the pool at our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast after your hike, and relax on one of our lounge chairs. Come evening, you’ll be ready for a drink in the parlor  and dinner out in Lee, Lenox, or Stockbridge.

Berkshire Botanical Garden

April 27, 2011 by Applegate Inn

Tulips

Walk among tulips at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens.

The Berkshire Botanical Garden opens for the season on May 1, 2011. Each year we know that spring has truly arrived once the Botanical Garden opens. We look forward to it – not just as a herald of warm weather, but because of the many fine events offered at the gardens.

The season opens with Out on a Limb: Tree Houses: Architects Take a Bough. The exhibition features six creative tree houses by the following architects and designers: Michael Trapp, Joseph Cho, Stefanie Lew, Robyn Sandberg, Gray Davis, Will Meyer, Mark Smith and Tim Smith, and James Odegaard. These tree houses redefine the treehouse that your father may have built in your backyard. They make the spirit soar with possibilities.

Berkshire Botanical Garden is comprised of 15 acres of meticulously maintained gardens and trails. The gardens are some of the oldest in the country, and focus on plants native to the region. Many guests of our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast enjoy visiting the gardens during their stay with us.

The Berkshire Botanical Gardens are approximately six miles from our Berkshires Lodging. We recommend stopping by Stockbridge Massachusetts on the way there or back for a bite to eat.

Additional information about the gardens is available at Berkshire Botanical Gardens.

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