October is here and the scenery is bursting with color. When it comes to leaf peeping, nothing beats the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Now is the time to come and enjoy the best of the Berkshires fall foliage!
October is THE month for viewing the peak fall foliage here in western Massachusetts. The Berkshires fall foliage season begins late September and typically peaks during mid-October, Columbus Day weekend.
If you’ve a love for forested backdrops of crimson, yellow, russet, and all tones in between, a Berkshires fall foliage trip is for you! Luckily, Applegate Inn is at the epicenter of some of the most striking autumn vistas around. It’s a simple thing to plan a lovely little drive or day trip from our Berkshires B&B for some gallery-hopping, antiquing, and lots of great leaf peeping!
Bash Bish Falls may be the tallest and most famous waterfall in the Berkshires – but it’s not the only one! In fact, there are lots of waterfalls in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
There’s just something about a waterfall that is magical. From the sound of the falling water to the sight of it splashing its way down, waterfalls can be hypnotic. Science tells us that falling water releases negative ions into the air that have a positive effect on our moods.
Whatever the reason, waterfalls are almost universally loved.
Luckily, there are many waterfalls in the Berkshires of Western, MA. Some are big, splashing waterfalls like Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington. Others are small, “horsetail” falls like Stevens Glen in Richmond. Some waterfalls can be seen from the road while others require a hike. While some falls are more seasonal than others, they’re all most exciting during the spring rains and run-off.
Rather than list all the waterfalls in the Berkshires, here are just a few of the more popular ones near our neck of the woods.
The Appalachian Trail stretches some 2,200, from Georgia to Maine – and right through the Berkshires of Western MA. In fact, it passes close by our Berkshires B&B, making hiking the Appalachian Trail in the Berkshires a snap!
People come from all over to experience hiking the Appalachian Trail. While many set out on multi-day trips and some hardy souls attempt the full length, many just want to set foot upon the famous track.
Luckily, there are a number of access points and day hikes available right here in the Berkshires. Ninety miles of the trail run along the ridges and valleys of Berkshire County, MA. Better yet, most require no fees or permits for a simple day hike.
There’s nothing quite like a Berkshires skiing getaway and Applegate Inn makes it even easier to plan yours with our Berkshires lodging packages!
There is always something happening in the Massachusetts Berkshires, even during the winter. In fact, that’s an excellent time to visit!
If you think our rolling hills are lovely during summer, just wait ’til you see them under a sparkling blanket of snow. The same can be said of our quaint, New England towns once they’re decked out for the holidays.
Bash Bish Falls may be the most iconic and famous of all the waterfalls in the Berkshires. It’s certainly the highest, tumbling nearly 120 feet down a series of cascades, before being split in two for a final drop of 80 feet to the sparkling pool below. Stunning!
Unfortunately, Bash Bish Falls’ fame means it is also one of the most heavily visited sites in the state. This is particularly true during the hot months of summer when so many are on vacation and the allure of the waterfall’s cool spray is strongest.
Consequently, one of the best times to visit Bash Bish Falls State Park is in the spring. Not only are the crowds fewer during this time of year but the flow of Bash Bish Brook tends to be stronger, making the falls that much more dramatic. A real win-win!
Looking to get out on the slopes without breaking the bank? Applegate Inn’s mid-week, Berkshires ski getaway lodging special can help!
The Berkshires offer a number of excellent places to ski, whether you prefer alpine, cross-country, or even snowboarding. This time of year, however, the slopes can be a little crowded. One good way to get around this is by planning a mid-week getaway. Mid-week ski vacations usually mean smaller lift lines and less crowded slopes, translating into you spending more time skiing instead of waiting!
Planning a Berkshires skiing vacation this winter? Great idea – the Berkshires are loaded with numerous excellent ski areas and Applegate Inn is right in the center of all the best Berkshires skiing action!
It’s true: there are lots of wonderful Berkshires skiing opportunities and Applegate Inn is conveniently close to a majority of them. Take a look!
Summer – what a wonderful time to be out of doors! One of the best ways we can think of, of really getting out into the great outdoors while you’re in the Berkshires would be on a guided Housatonic River canoe trip.
Most of the time, we find ourselves looking wistfully out at the calm, flowing waters of the Housatonic river as it wends its way past us through the lush and beautiful Berkshires’ landscape. To really enjoy it, there’s nothing quite like getting out onto its smooth surface with nothing but quiet assurance of manpower to guide your gentle journey along its course.
Applegate Inn’s location in Lee, MA makes it the perfect home-base for any and all of your Berkshires skiing getaway plans!
Winter in the Berkshires means cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing and more! Our central location means easy access to all the Berkshires skiing you can handle without sacrificing comfort.
As we enter into autumn and enjoy the beauty it brings, thoughts of winter are not far behind – which means now is the time to book your Berkshires skiing vacation!
You don’t have to look far in the Berkshires for good places to ski – they’re everywhere! – but each one is a little different, so here’s a guide to some of the bigger and better Berkshires skiing resorts
Maidenhair spleenwort and moss at Bartholomew’s Cobble
If you want to see the remains of an ancient, upside down coral reef covered in a wide array of rare and beautiful foliage, head on over to Bartholomew’s Cobble in Massachusettes’ Housatonic valley.
Bartholomew’s Cobble is a 294-acre nature preserve and designated National Natural Landmark. It hosts one our continent’s widest diversities of ferns and their kin, along with numerous kinds of colorful, woodland wildflowers, and serves as a stop-over or home for more than 200 different species of birds.
If you’re like me, you just about can’t believe that ski season is nearly upon us – where on earth did summer go? – but it’s true, so you’d better get to planning your Berkshires ski vacation now while the time is ripe!
It may only be fall now but NOW is the time to make those reservations for lodging and lift tickets – there’s not a moment to lose as, once the season is in full swing, finding decent accommodations is going to be a real trick.
Summers are meant to be spent near the water, if you ask me. We have a lovely pool at the Inn for swimming and lounging, however it can be fun to experience some fresh water while you are in the Berkshires as well.
Laurel Lake is only five minutes up the road from Applegate Inn Bed & Breakfast, where you can swim from a sandy beach with a lifeguard standing by. There are also changing rooms, restrooms, a boat ramp and fishing is permitted.
This is a great place to spend the afternoon with a nice book and relax in the shade (or the sun, if you are working on a tan!) Pack a picnic, play some cards or lawn games and then head back to the B&B to freshen up for a delightful dinner at one of our recommended restaurants in the area.
Other Swimming Spots in the Berkshires Area
Lulu Brook in Pittsfield State Forest: An easy five minute hike brings you to an eight-foot cascade into a beautiful pool below.
“Card Lake, West Stockbridge, Mass.” A Postcard from the ImageMuseum, (imagemuseum.sumgmug.com) a website with thousands of vintage postcards and photographs from Western Massachusetts.
Card Lake in West Stockbirdge: Enjoy the cool, crisp and clear waters of this local lake.
Center Pond at Becket Town Beach in Becket: This small town swim spot offers free lessons every morning of the week.
Lake Mansfield in Great Barrington: Swimmers will find clear waters and a lifeguard-managed sandy beach area. Lifeguard on duty from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. during summer months.
Onota Lake at Burbank Park in Pittsfield: Located on the eastern shore of Onota Lake, Burbank Park is open year-round. The public park is about 150 acres and offers a fishing pier and free public boat launch, picnic groves with grills, a public swimming beach with lifeguards during July and August and a walking path along the lake.
The Housatonic River starts from four sources in the Berkshire mountains near the city of Pittsfield. It flows 149 miles southward through Massachusetts and Connecticut before emptying into the Long Island Sound.
Fishing is a major activity along the entire length of the river. Trout, bass, and perch are the most common catches. Enjoy some of the best fly fishing in southwestern Massachusetts. Fly fishing on the river has been compared with many western rivers and boasts some of the finest trophy trout fishing in the eastern US.
One of the most popular spots for fishing the Housatonic River is between the Falls Village Dam and the town of Cornwall Bridge in Litchfield County Connecticut, about an hour north of the Bed and Breakfast. However, there are local waters where excellent trout fishing takes place.
In Berkshire’s waters find large and small mouth bass, northern pike, white and yellow perch and trout of all varieties in abundance. Numerous brooks, rivers, ponds, and lakes are stocked with trout each year. Here are some of our favorite Berkshires fishing spots:
In Lee ~
Beartown Brook (west branch)
Washington Mountain Brook
In Lenox ~
In Stockbridge ~
An essential ingredient for any fishing trip is a free pamphlet containing abstracts of the Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Laws, available at local sporting goods shops. This pamphlet carefully outlines the rules and regulations of Massachusetts fishing and hunting. Also essential is a license, which can be obtained through either city or town clerks or through many local sporting goods stores.
Lodging for your Weekend in the Berkshires
Whether it is our lovely scenery and natural resources that draw you to the Berkshires, or our heady cultural and historical offerings, make Applegate Inn Bed and Breakfast your starting point for exploring the Berkshires.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) is a hiking path that runs 2175 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Ninety miles of this long-distance trail are in Massachusetts, running along the tops of the ridges and through the valleys of Berkshire County.
The Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts provides diverse hiking opportunities for long-distance backpackers. However, there are also beautiful and accessible routes for the day hiker. The AT travels over Mount Everett in the south, Mount Greylock in the north and and through the Housatonic and Hoosac Valley’s small towns.
Click on the image for a PDF of the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.
Cobble Hill. This a 3.4 mile round trip hike that starts at Main Road in Lee, 5 miles Southeast of US 20. There is limited parking along the roadside. Head South on the trail; after .1 miles, cross the Hop Brook bridge. At mile 0.8, pass through a hemlock grove and cross a small stream. 0.3 miles later, cross Jerusalem Road, which puts you in the Tyringham Cobble Reservation. Another 0.3 miles from the road crossing, reach a side trail (the 0.3 miles) to the top of Cobble Hill for a rewarding view. Retrace your steps to complete the hike.
Warner Hill. This is an easy 1.4 mile round trip hike originating in Pittsfield. Reach the trail by following Blotz Road 6 miles east out of Pittsfield or for 1.3 miles west from Massachusetts 8. From Blotz Rd. head South on the trail and climb .7 miles through a dense evergreen forest to the top of Warner Hill. A cairn that sits a few feet to the left of the Trail marks the summit. Retrace your steps to complete the hike.
Rest Your Feet On Our Hearth!
After a day of exploring the Appalachian Trail and the natural beauty of the Berkshires, head back to our bed and breakfast for a comfortable room with fireplace to warm your feet. Or perhaps a deep soaking tub is what you’d prefer. Either way, we have what you need!
Ski Butternut is regarded by many as the number one Massachusetts ski resort. Located on the East Mountain, ski Butternut provides 110 acres of skiing, spread across 22 trails. All of the trails are also supplemented with man-made snow as necessary.
Butternut is a friendly resort that also has many family – oriented ski areas, ideal for youngsters just learning to ski or snowboard. Ski Butternut is also affordable, offering bargain ski lift tickets and downright cheap season passes. Of course, they also offer ski and snowboard lessons and rental skis or snowboard packages.