Get out into the great outdoors of the Berkshires with a visit to Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The 1,142 acre reserve includes a large beaver pond, 7 miles of trails through a variety of habitats, and plenty of wildlife.
Actually, the Massachusetts Audubon Society runs three separate Wildlife Sanctuaries within reasonable driving distance of Applegate Inn. There’s Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield, Lime Kiln Farm in Sheffield, and Pleasant Valley in Lenox.
All three preserves are lovely and worth your time – Pleasant Valley is just closest to our Berkshires inn.
Visiting the Sanctuary
One of the best aspects of Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is its varied landscapes. Sanctuary trails lead through hardwood forest, meadows, and wetlands. One trail, the Trail of the Ledges/Overbrook Loop, will even take you to the summit of Lenox Mountain!
Of course, not everyone has the oomph necessary to summit Lenox Mountain. Luckily, Pleasant Valley’s hiking trails vary as much in length and difficulty as the variety of habitats they pass through.
The All Persons Trail/Pike’s Pond Trail Loop offers an easy, mostly level walk around Pike’s Pond. The trail is less than a mile in length and includes a deck for watching the beavers in Pike’s Pond – best sighted at dusk.
If you enjoy observing wildlife like birds and beavers, the Yokun/Beaver Lodge Trails Loop may be the trail for you. It’s 1.5 mile (2.4 km) length includes views of the northern beaver ponds and is also popular for spotting birds. You’ll also be treated to stunning views of the Lenox Mountain Ridge.
While the aforementioned Trail of the Ledges/Overbrook Loop is a strenuous 3 mile (4.8 km) loop that gains 850 vertical feet (259 m), the views may be worth the effort. From the top of Mount Lenox, one can see Mount Greylock to the north, the Taconic Range to the west, and southwest to New York’s Catskill Mountains.
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA 01240
Trails at the Sanctuary are open from dawn to dusk all year ’round. Facilities, such as the restrooms, nature center, and picnic area are available seasonally. Members and Lenox residents enter for free. Nonmembers pay $5 for an adult pass, $3 for seniors and children.
While you’re in the area, don’t forget that Lenox, MA is also home to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, Edith Wharton’s The Mount, The Kripalu Yoga Center and many other worthy attractions – all just minutes away from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.