Historic downtown Lenox, MA, is a great place to walk, eat, shop, and explore, taking in the small-town hub.
ARTS & CULTURE
The Mount: Edith Wharton’s home
edithwharton.org / 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA 01240(413) 551 5111
A top American historic home – Architectural Digest 2019
Experience the beauty of Edith Wharton’s historic house and gardens. The Mount offers tours of the house and gardens, including a Backstairs tour and our popular Ghost tour. Special events include music, theater, and readings. Annual outdoor sculpture exhibit is included with admission.
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Guilded Age Museum
guildedage.org / 104 Walker St, Lenox, MA 01240
An imposing Jacobean Revival-style mansion built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of J. P. Morgan. Designed by the architects Rotch & Tilden, it is located in Lenox, Massachusetts. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ventfort Hall is the home of The Museum of the Gilded Age.
email@example.com / 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA 01262 / 413.298.3579
National Trust Historic Site, this is the country home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), creator of the Minute Man and Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial. Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Massachusetts, it is a historic site owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Norman Rockwell Museum
www.nrm.org / 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA 01262 / 413.298.4100
Set in the artist’s hometown, housing the world’s largest collection of Norman Rockwell’s original art & the works of other contemporary & past masters. Open year-round. Rockwell’s Stockbridge studio & Terrace Café open May-Oct.
Clark Art Institute
www.clarkart.edu / 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267 / 413-458-2303
The Clark Art Institute is best known for its French Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and especially Pierre-Auguste Renoir
MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art)
www.massmoca.org / 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247 / 413-662-2111
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is a museum in a converted factory building complex located in North Adams, Massachusetts. It is one of the largest centers for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the United States.
NATURE & RECREATION
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary – Mass Audubon Society
472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA 01240 / 413.637.0320
1300 acres, 7 miles of trails. Year-round programs. Open Daily.
Office Hours: 10 am-4 pm.
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Lanesborough, MA 01224 / 413-442-8928
Eleven Mile rail trail from Lanesborough to Adams, MA
Great for walking, biking, and skating.
Canyon Ranch Spa
165 Kemble St, Lenox, MA 01240 / (413) 637-4100
Body & Soul Day Spa
18 Maple Avenue, Great Barrington, MA 01230 / (413) 528-6465
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
57 Interlaken Rd, Stockbridge, MA 01262 / (413) 448-3152
Wyndhurst Manor & Club
55 Lee Road, Lenox, MA 01240/ 413-637-1364
Greenock Country Club
220 West Park Street, Lee, MA 01238 / (413) 243-3323
THINGS TO DO
Go Take a Hike!
By our friend, Ben Charkow, a local Berkshires resident
Here are a few ideas for getting outside and enjoying the beautiful Berkshire mountains while you are in the area to celebrate Heather and Michael! Before taking any of these hikes, make sure you study the trail map referenced with each description and are prepared with the appropriate footwear, water, clothes, etc. The Berkshires are not the Rocky Mountains (or even the Adirondacks) but they can still be tough!
Easy / Nature Walk:
Robert Ingalls (Stephentown, NY) Preserve: Take a stroll through one of the meandering trails of the Robert Ingalls preserve. (Info at https://www.renstrust.org/explore/preserves/public-preserves/16-robert-ingalls-preserve.)
Field Farm (Williamstown, MA): This area provides spectacular open views of the Greylock Range and has a number of trails that can be combined depending on how long you want to walk. (Info at https://thetrustees.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Field-Farm-Trail-Map.pdf.)
After a jaunt at Field Farm you can stop by the nearby Cricket Creek Farm and pick up some local award winning cheese. (https://www.facebook.com/cricketcreekfarm/)
Ground/Work (The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA): If you’re looking for art, or want to stroll next to an art museum, visit the grounds of the Clark Art Institute. Some sculptures are on the walk so you can take in culture. (Info at https://www.clarkart.edu/microsites/ground-work/trail-map)
Berlin Pass Trail (Williamstown, MA): This trail goes along a stretch of the old Albany-Boston post road. Shortly after starting the hike you will cross into New York State, with the border marked by an old granite marker. At the junction with the Taconic Crest Trail (with white diamond trail blazes), turn around or if you're feeling ambitious turn left and hike to the top of Berlin Mountain for spectacular views. Those ambitious and with strong knees can descend the old Williams College Ski Area back to the parking lot or turn around and return the way you came.
For a more difficult variation: Start at the Class of '33 Trailhead and summit Berlin Mountain, then descend via the Taconic Crest Trail / Berlin Pass Trail (the reverse of above). Though more difficult, this loop can still be done in a morning or afternoon. (Info on all these trails can be found at https://rurallands.org/property/berlin-road/)
Monument Mountain (Great Barrington, MA): A favorite for those in South County is Monument Mountain. Monument Mountain has been popular since Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville had a picnic hike (interrupted by a thunderstorm) up Monument Mountain in 1850. I’m sure they didn’t have to worry about crowds and finding a parking spot back then! Things are much busier now, but it is still a beautiful place to hike. (Info at https://thetrustees.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/MonumentMtn_TrailMap_2021.pdf)
More Difficult (the Mt. Greylock Reservation):
No discussion of hiking in the Berkshires is complete without mentioning the Mt. Greylock State Reservation. Mt. Greylock, at 3,491’ is the tallest mountain in Massachusetts. A map of the entire reservation can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/mount-greylock-trail-map/download, and information on the Reservation is available here: https://www.mass.gov/locations/mount-greylock-state-reservation.
Here are a few outstanding hikes in the reservation:
Stony Ledge: Stony Ledge is a beautiful clearing that looks straight at the Hopper on Mt. Greylock. It can be accessed by a number of trails. A favorite is to park at Haley Farm on Hopper Road (in Williamstown) and take the Haley Farm Trail to the summit of Stony Ledge.
Mt. Prospect Loop: Another favorite loop starts at Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road (in Williamstown), taking the Money Brook Trail to the Mt. Prospect Trail (summitting Mt. Prospect at 2,690’). This trail is steep! Continue over Mt. Prospect and take a right for a short stint on the Appalachian Trail, branching off the AT to pass by Wilbur’s Clearing and then onto the Money Brook Trail for a return to Haley Farm. Those with some energy left can view the Money Brook Falls on the return with a slight detour (consult the trail map for details).
Mt. Greylock: There are a number of ways to summit Mt. Greylock as can be seen on the trail map. A family favorite is to enter the Reservation through the Rockwell Rd. gate (off of Route 7 in Lanesborough, MA) and drive to the Parking Lot near Old Adams Road (Elevation 2,360’). Then hike up towards Jones Nose (veering right away from the CCC Dynamite Trail), and connecting with the Appalachian Trail and taking that trail to the summit of Mt. Greylock.
Choose your level of difficult and stay in Lenox:
Kennedy Park (Lenox, MA): For those that want to stay near Lenox, Kennedy Park offers fifteen miles of trails that can be accessed from a number of different parking locations. The trail map (https://www.townoflenox.com/community-center/files/kennedy-park-trail-map) identifies which trails are easiest, more difficult and most difficult.
And for Those that Don’t Want to Hike: If you’ve read all these hikes and you think “I just want to sit in my car and drive,” you can drive up to the summit of Mt. Greylock (see the above map). Recognizing the fall foliage “Greylock Gridlock,” the Massachusetts Parks Department put together some fall foliage ride ideas beyond the main road to the summit. (Info at: https://www.mass.gov/doc/mgry-fall-driving-routes/download)
Get out and Enjoy the Area!!!
- Ben Charkow