October Mountain State Forest is Massachusetts largest state forest. Its 16,500 acres encompass a portion of the Hoosac Range on the western edge of the central Berkshires. The forest includes an uplands area with several reservoirs.
The “October Mountain” name comes from the forest’s highest point; a ridge rising majestically up out of the Housatonic River Valley. Herman Melville treasured the view of the ridge from his home in Pittsfield, particularly in autumn. The name “October Mountain” is attributed to him.
Best of all, October Mountain is right here in Lee. Just a ten-minute drive from your room at our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.
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Looking to soak up some of that beautiful Berkshires scenery? Take a cruise along the Jacob’s Ladder Trail. The historic, 35 mile Scenic Byway treats its travelers to gorgeous views of the southern Berkshires between Lee and Russell, MA.
Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway, part of U.S. Highway 20, runs from Russell, MA, to the Lee/Lenox town line, here in Berkshire County. In between, the road takes you through the towns of Huntington, Chester, and Becket. The area has seen less development than other parts of New England, leaving it rich in culture yet charming and unpretentious.
The Trail will also take you through plenty of lush nature scenery, too. It crosses over the Appalachian Trail, through three State Forests, past Jacob’s Pillow, across Westfield River, and up Mount Tekoa. You’ll see ponds, streams, hiking trails, campgrounds, scenic overlooks, and much more.
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Guests come to our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast during the summer to bask in the beauty of nature and enjoy outdoor recreation. They also come to immerse themselves in the extraordinary art and culture that’s found here.
One day they can hike the Appalachian Trail. The next day they can visit world-renowned museums like The Clark and watch a performance by the Hong Kong Ballet. In between, they can dine in fabulous restaurants and lounge by the pool of our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast.
Each summer brings a plethora of festivals to the Berkshires. Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow Dance, the two most widely known festivals, draw audiences from all over the world. Other festivals, such as the Berkshires Art Festival, are smaller but also well regarded. Guests of our Berkshires Inn find there is plenty to do during the summer, and also plenty of space in which to do nothing.
The truth is, the Berkshire region of Massachusetts is a marvelous place for a summer vacation. Come see for yourself.
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 Appalachian 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.
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.
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.
An hour south of our Lenox MA bed and breakfast in Connecticut, the Appalachian Trail follows the Housatonic River for several miles. We hiked it in May, and were astounded by the multitude of colorful wildflowers along the trail and the lovely views of the river and valley.
Start west of Cornwall Bridge, and join the Appalachian Trail at Breadloaf Mountain (where you will delight in the views of the Housatonic River and Valley). Head south along the trail, descending into the valley where you’ll walk along the west bank of the wide Housatonic River. There are many good spots to stop and enjoy a picnic while enjoying expansive views. Leaving the AT near the town of Kent makes a great day hike.
We love helping guests of our Berkshires bed and breakfast hike part of the Appalachian Trail. To facilitate your experience, we’ll escort you to your end point, where you can drop your vehicle and catch a ride with us to your starting point.
By evening time, you’ll be ready to relax with a glass of wine and a plate of cheese at our bed and breakfast Lenox.
If you have always dreamed of hiking part of the Appalachian Trail, let us help you realize that dream. The Appalachian Trail passes close to our Lenox MA bed and breakfast. Stay with us while you plan your trip, and sink into a hot tub back at the inn at the end of the day. There is no finer place to recover after a long hike than our Bed and Breakfast Berkshires.
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