Bridges are inherently picturesque, and covered bridges even more so. The engineering and craftsmanship required to suspend materials over rivers, streams, and gorges is often remarkable to behold. This seems to be doubly true when it comes to covered bridges.
Humans have constructed bridges – and covered them – for thousands of years. As bridge engineering and materials have changed, the need to take the time and expense to cover bridges has been reduced. Most of the old covered bridges that were used in the United States have long since been replaced with modern, uncovered varieties. The result is that there are now fewer than 800 covered bridges in the country, where once they numbered in the tens of thousands.
It’s worth taking a little side trip to see a covered bridge, if you happen to be anywhere near one. As it happens, our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast is near a covered bridge – the Upper Sheffield Bridge over the Housatonic River. It’s about fifteen miles south of our Lee Massachusetts Bed and Breakfast.
Vehicular traffic is not permitted on the bridge, but visitors are allowed to walk across it. It’s fun to stand in the middle of the bridge on rainy days, safely dry as you listen to the river under your feet and the rain above your head. It’s also quite an experience to walk across the bridge on wintery days, when the shelter is both needed and appreciated.
Covered bridges are part art, part architecture, and part historical artifact. If any of these areas interest you, check out the Upper Sheffield Bridge when next you stay at our Bed and Breakfast in the Massachusetts Berkshires.
Please see Sheffield Covered Bridge for directions.
Take a break from the cultural richness of the Berkshires and head out into the wilderness for a hike. Nothing calms the mind like being surrounded by trees and magnificent rock formations. You will feel refreshed and ready either to head back to Tanglewood or go straight to your Berkshires bed and breakfast for a dip in the pool and a sit on the porch.
The trail to Ice Glen is less than 1.5 miles there and back, without much gain in elevation. Heavily shaded by huge, old hemlock trees, the trail offers one pleasant surprise after another. Deep caves, stacked boulders, and narrow fissures abound, along with dramatic views of the ravine. This trail has been popular for many years; indeed, Nathaniel Hawthorne called Ice Glen “the most curious fissure in all Berkshire.”
The Ice Glen trailhead is just south of Stockbridge, MA – a short drive from our Lee MA bed and breakfast. We will feed you a delicious breakfast and send you on your way. You should have plenty of time to return to your room and rest before heading out to one of the many delicious restaurants in the region, or to a concert at Tanglewood.
One of the most reputable and unique art museums in the world is near our Berkshires bed and breakfast. The Clark Art Institute is both a first class art museum and a highly acclaimed research museum with a mission to “advancing and extending the public understanding of art.” It is also located in a rural area, which is extremely rare for a museum of its kind.
The Clark is perhaps best known for its collection of French Impressionist paintings, which is extensive. In addition, world-renowned exhibits rotate through the museum. Now through October 18, visitors will have the opportunity to view “Through the Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature”. This exhibit features scrolls and screens from the seventeenth through 19th centuries, and contemporary ceramics: the works are linked by “emphasizing the inspirational role of nature in Japanese art” (Clark website). “Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence” runs through September 7, 2009; it explores the influence of Arthur Dove on O’Keeffe and her work. According to the Clark website, the artistic dialogue between O’Keeffe and Dove “yielded a form of modernism grounded in direct, emotional responses to nature, and their profound aesthetic connection helped shape the course of art in America.” Both of these exhibits are worth a trip to The Clark.
Located as it is in one of the most scenic areas of western Massachusetts, The Clark invites visitors to experience the outdoors through Geocaching. Bring your own GPS or borrow one free of charge from the museum and head into the wild. Geocaching is a game. Hikers use a GPS device to locate hidden containers (geocaches) full of treasures that were left behind by other geocachers. Leave your own treasure and then go in search of the next cache. It is a great way to get out into the fresh air, stretch your legs, and enjoy the beauty of the Berkshires.
Check out some of The Clark Art Institute specials that combine entry into the museum with tickets to Tanglewood. Our Massachusetts Bed and Breakfast is ideally situated to take advantage of both Tanglewood and The Clark, and we hope you do while you are staying here. When you feel the need to take a vacation from your vacation, simply pull up a chaise lounge and relax by the pool. Art, music, and relaxation – that is what summer is all about.
The Mark Morris Dance Group are skilled dancers and fabulous performers. They will perform at Tanglewood on August 5 and 6 2009, at 8:00 PM, very near our Massachusetts Bed and Breakfast. Joining them will be Emanuel Ax on the piano, Colin Jacobsen on the violin, and Yo-Yo Ma on the cello. The trio will play Haydn’s Horn Concerto No. 2 as the dancers perform “A Lake.” The world premier of “Visitation” will be performed to Beethoven’s Sonata No. 4 in C for cello and Piano, Op. 102, No. 1., and “Candleflowerdance” will be accompanied by Stravinsky’s Serenade in A for piano. Finally, the world premier of “Empire Gardens” will be danced to Ives Trio for piano, violin and cello.
It is a great honor for Tanglewood to be the site of two world premiers by Mark Morris. This talented choreographer from Seattle has created works for ballets and operas around the world. Yet perhaps it is no surprise that he chose the Tanglewood Festival to unveil two new performances; he is known for his musicality, and according to the Tanglewood website, “has been described as undeviating in his devotion to music.”
We at our Bed and Breakfast Lenox, MA are thrilled that the Mark Morris Dance Group will be at Tanglewood this August. We look forward to the performance.
Catamount Ski Area has opened an Adventure Park near our Berkshires MA Bed and Breakfast. This is an exciting way to make use of a beautiful area in the Berkshire Mountains that has traditionally been most used in the winter. We are excited by what the new Adventure Park has to offer our community and guests at our Massachusetts Bed and Breakfast.
You may find yourself wondering, “What exactly is an adventure park?” It is a place to have fun while building skills. No rollercoasters here. Instead, you will find an aerial forest rope course complete with platforms in the trees connected by ropes and cable “bridges”. The goal? To move from platform to platform by various means, including via zip-line. The courses vary in difficulty, so visitors are sure to find one that meets their comfort level, or pushes them slightly beyond it. Safety is of course paramount, and participants are always fully secured by a harness.
Spending a few hours at the Swiss designed Catamount Adventure Park is a great way to experience the beauty of the Berkshires. We promise to fill you with a nutritious and delicious home made breakfast at our Lee MA Bed and Breakfast, after which you can head out for great adventure. In the evening, perhaps you will join us for a glass of sherry and regale us with tales of swinging from tree to tree.
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Today is the first day of Spring! We are so happy that winter is finally rolling around the corner for the year, and we can start to think and plan for all the exciting activities that take place in the Spring in the Berkshires, especially Tanglewood.
The Tanglewood Festival is an annual celebration of music held at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox. It is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and setting for a variety of musical performances and events. One of the best ways to spend a summer evening in the Berkshires is to grab a blanket, some fixin’s for a picnic & head to Tanglewood for a night of music as the sun sets and the stars come out.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is currently running a Clark/Tanglewood ticket offer: Buy now and pay only $45 for two tickets to The Clark and two Tanglewood lawn tickets. I had to read that three times before I believed my eyes; four tickets to world-renowned art and mucis venues for only $45?!? It is an amazing deal and one you should take advantage of right away!
The Clark is located in Williamstown, about a 45 minute drive from both the Tanglewood Music Center and our Massachusetts Bed and Breakfast. Of course, the drive through our pastoral landscape in the summer with a warm breeze in your hair is not much of a chore. Plus, The Clark is not to be missed.
The Clark features an outstanding collection of Impressionist, American, and Old Master paintings, set among 140 scenic acres with hiking and walking trails. On view this summer, Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence and Through the Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature.
Look for more information on Tanglewood from our Lenox Bed and Breakfast soon!