Outdoors all summer: Parks and trails
Trails on the grounds, woods and fields around Herman Melville's historic house. Opening May 25. 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield.
Opens Wednesdays and Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m., June 5 to early October. Yoga in the Garden Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon to 1 p.m. Hike to the ruins of the former mansion or explore the landscaped paths and water ways created over the course of decades by John McLennan, a composer of modern music. Free. Soden Road, Tyringham, Trustees of Reservations. (413) 298-3239
Step inside this anchor site on the African American Heritage trail and participate in the story of the Ashley family and Elizabeth Freeman, the enslaved woman who took a stand against slavery. New outdoor exhibit in the on Freeman's life and legacy. Fall tours, Saturdays at 1 p.m. through Oct. 8. Cooper Hill Road, Ashley Falls section of Sheffield, near Bartholomew's Cobble. (413) 229-8600. Trustees of Reservations, www.thetrustees.org.
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail
Flat, paved trail from Cheshire to Adams, following the old railway line along Cheshire Lake and Route 8.
River and unique wood and meadow habitat with bald eagles, turtles and abundant wildlife: 800 species of plants and one of North America's greatest diversities of ferns. Hikes, canoe trips and nature programs. Housatonic River guided canoe trips. Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset; museum and visitors center open year-round, daily, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eco Volunteers meet Thursdays beginning in May. Weatogue Road, Sheffield. Trustees of Reservations, (413) 229-8600, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becket Land Trust
Becket historic quarry and trails: Quarry Museum and self-guided tour of nature preserve and 100 years of history. Becket Historic Quarry permanent exhibit opens June 21 at Mullen House Education Center. Trails open in daylight hours year round. Quarry off Route 20, 456 Quarry Road, Becket. Mullen House off-site exhibits and office at 12 Brooker Hill Road (corner Route 8), North Becket Village. (413) 623-2100, www.becketlandtrust.org.
Berkshire Botanical Garden
26 display areas including perennial borders, mixed borders of thousands of annuals, a rock garden, rose garden, pond garden, children's garden and native plant gardens. Three greenhouses, an arboretum and a woodland preserve. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 31 with tours Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, June 15 to Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. Route 183 and Route 102, Stockbridge. (413) 298-3926, www.berkshirebotanical.org.
From 1865 until his death in 1878, William Cullen Bryant summered here at his boyhood home, today a National Historic Landmark. A self-guided map highlights the 2-mile Rivulet Trail, where old growth, including ancient specimens of hemlock and a magnificent cherry tree, rise near the Rivulet, a trickling stream immortalized by Bryant's 1823 poem. Free. Grounds open year-round for hiking, picnics and sight-seeing.
Group hikes many Saturdays and Sundays in May and June, across the county. For full schedule, visit www.berkshireknapsackers.org and watch the Berkshires Week weekly calendar.
Bird walks weekly, Fridays at 7 a.m., in May, and other nature activities; trails open daily, 7 a.m. to dusk. Wetlands along the banks of the Housatonic River, Holmes Road, Pittsfield. Berkshire Sanctuaries, www.massaudubonorg.
A dramatic rock canyon first carved by centuries of glacial melt water and the Westfield River, the gorge is the gateway to the East Branch Trail. Open during the warm season, daily, from sunrise to sundown, for hiking, picnicking, mountain biking, anglers. River Road, Chesterfield. (413) 532-1631.
A 1967 post-modern guest house designed by Ulrich Franzen for art collector Lawrence Bloedel and bauhaus building. Tours compares architectural philosophies, noon and 1 p.m. Saturdays, June through September. Trails and grounds open daily, free. 554 Sloan Road, Williamstown, www.thetrustees.org, (413) 458-3135.
Garden tours through the summer in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont. No reservations; rain or shine. Times and places: (888) 842-2442 www.opendaysprogram.org.
Great Barrington River Walk
Native landscaped path along the Housatonic River in downtown Great Barrington; entrances at 195 Main St., River Street, Bridge Street and St. Peter's Church. W.E.B. Du Bois River Garden Park. Wm. Stanley Overlook. Volunteer days Thursdays and Fridays, 1 to 4 p.m. Open spring, summer and fall in daylight hours. www.gbriverwalk.com. (413) 458-3391.
Hoffmann Bird Club
Birding expeditions across the county. www.hoffmannbirdclub.org.
Trails maintained by Williams College in Williamstown. www.williams.edu/CES/
hopkins.htm, (413) 597-4353
Housatonic Heritage Area
Native plant nursery and restorer of habitat maintains meadow and woodland trails around seed beds for wild plants. Trails open dawn to dusk year-round. 342 North Plain Road, Route 41, Housatonic, projectnative.org or (413) 274-3433.
Moderate loop trails and beautiful views at the top. Admission is free. Route 7, Great Barrington. Trustees of Reservations, (413) 298-3239, ext. 3020.
Trails and entrances in Williams-town, North Adams, Adams and Lanesborough. For nature talks, music and events on summit, see Bascom Lodge.
Wild meadows at the homesite of the woman who wrote "Bog-Trotting for Orchids" a century ago. Entrances on Benedict Road in Pownal, Vt., and Mason Street in Willliamstown. Admission is free. Trustees of Reservations. (413) 458-3135.
Twenty-five miles of trails, historic hayfields and pastures, stone walls and cellar holes. Open from sunup to sundown, daily, year round. Visitor Center with picnic area and rest rooms. Tuesday Trail Team, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: small group working on repairs to Windsor Trail. Second and fourth Tuesdays, July to October. 83 Old Route 9, Windsor. (413) 684-0148.
Pleasant Valley Sanctuary
Trails, boardwalk, canoe trips and nature programs weekly. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox. Berkshire Sanctuaries, (413) 637-0320, www.massaudubon.org.
Nonprofit native plant farm, nursery and wildlife sanctuary, Route 41: 342 North Plain Road Housatonic, (413) 274-3433, projectnative.org.
Trails across 237 acres of woods and meadows. Master Gardeners Workshops select Saturday mornings. Master Gardeners at work in the demo behind Springside House, gardens before "Tuesday Night in the Park" music series starting July 9. Attend the concerts, tour the gardens, and ask gardening questions. Springside Park, upper North Street, Pittsfield. Gardeners: (413) 743-5193. Park: (413) 347-3812, SpringsideNow@gmail.com.
Highland valley nature and cultural center in boreal forest. Hikes on the property and in neighboring conservation lands in Windsor an Savoy with naturalist Aimee Gelinas. 1515 Savoy Hollow Road, Windsor. tamarackhollow.com.
Walk through mountain meadows and up hillside trails to watch for bobolinks. Jerusalem Road, Tyringham. Trustees of Reservations.
Williamstown Rural Lands
Land trust maintains trails around Williamstown and near its headquarters at former dairy farm; see website for maps. Children's programs with nature crafts, walking trails trails and family events at Sheep Hill. "Art, Writing and Nature for 9 to12," June 24-28. "Parent and Preschooler Nature Exploration" 10 to 11:30 a.m., July 1-3. "Create and Discover" for 7-9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 8-12. "Habitat Exploration" for 6-8 year olds, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 15-19. "Rustic Furniture Building Workshop" for 9-12 year olds, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 29-31. "Look to the Animals" for 5-7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 5-9. Williamstown.Sheep Hill, Route 7, Williamstown. www.wrlf.org, (413) 458-2494.
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