Tuesday, January 15, 2013


(includes Adams, Becket, Charlemont, Clarksburg, Florida, Greenfield, Housatonic, Lanesborough, Lenox, New Ashford, North Adams, Pittsfield, Shelburne & Williamstown)

Berkshire Natural Resources Council – 20 Bank Row (Pittsfield); 413-499-0596; bnrc.net; non-profit land conservation organization to preserve threatened lands; hiking information, maps, etc.

Sights & Sites
Mohawk Trail – 46 Howland Avenue; 413-743-8127; mohawktrail.com; began as Native American trade route connecting Atlantic with Upstate New York tribes (and beyond); followed Millers and Deerfield Rivers and crossed Hoosac Range; today, Massachusetts Route 2 part, following much of original Indian trail, from Orange to Williamstown (about 65 miles); passes through Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Shelburne, Buckland, Charlemont, Florida, and North Adams; Berkshire Mountains clearly visible from several points; scenic attractions include Hail To Sunrise Statue at Mohawk Park and Bridge of Flowers at Shelburne; route crosses Connecticut River via historic French King Bridge; highest elevation is 2272' (Whitcomb Summit), on western side of which is popular hairpin turn and lookout (overlooking North Adams); considerable portion surrounded by Mohawk Trail State Forest; most rewarding miles lie between Greenfield and North Adams.

Canterbury Farm – 1986 Fred Snow Road; 413-623-0100; canterbury-farms.com.

Golden Eagle Restaurant & Lounge – 1935 Mohawk Trail; 413-663-9834; thegoldeneaglerestaurant.com; located on historic “hairpin turn”; breathtaking panoramic view; casual dining & drinks; also, small gift shop.

Sights & Sites
Mahican-Mohawk Trail – Route 2 (turnoff just before sign for Florida); 413-586-8706, exts. 19 or 20 (Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation); mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/greenway/mahicanmohawk.htm; 2 trails that access Hoosac Range views; 1 trail is hour-long, mile and half round trip to Sunset Rock; other is 6-mile round trip to Spruce Hill; both form part of Mahican-Mohawk Trail.

Berkshire Mountain Bakery – 367 Park Street (Route 183); 413-274-3412; berkshiremountainbakery.com; open since 1986; considered national treasure.

Bascom Lodge – Mt. Greylock summit; 413-743-1591; bascomlodge.net; rustic stone and wood lodge built by Civilian Conservation Corps in 1930s; large dining room with hand-cut oak beams and high ceiling; enclosed porch with wraparound windows overlooks fine views; stone fireplaces create relaxing setting after hiking; open June 1-October 21, 7 days weekly for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and lodging; reservations essential.
Sights & Sites
Mount Greylock State Reservation – 30 Rockwell Road; 413-499-4262; mass.gov/dcr/parks/mtGreylock; at 3,491', Mt. Greylock is Massachusetts highest point, with dramatic views over 60-90 miles; also, Massachusetts’ 1st wilderness state park, acquired by Commonwealth in 1898; Bascom Lodge on summit offers overnight accommodations and meals from late-May through mid/late-October.

Blantyre – 16 Blantyre Road; 413-637-3556 or 800-735-2478; blantyre.com; Relais & Chateaux member.
Wheatleigh – Hawthorne Road; 413-637-0610 or 800-223-1230; wheatleigh.com; on knoll overlooking mountains and lake; in 22-acre park originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted; near Tanglewood; Leading Hotels World member.
Sights & Sites
Mount (Edith Wharton House) – 2 Plunkett Street (Lenox); 413-551-5111; edithwharton.org; turn-of-century home that Edith Wharton designed and built, with architect Ogden Codman, Jr.; gardens and pet cemetery.
Museum of Gilded Age – 104 Walker Street (at Ventfort Hall); 413-637-3206; gildedage.org.
Shakespeare & Co. – 70 Kemble Street; 413-637-1199; shakespeare.org.
Tanglewood – 297 West Street; 413-637-5180; tanglewood.org.

New Ashford
Berkshires Shirakaba Guest House – 20 Mallery Road (New Ashford); 413-458-1800; berkshires-shirakaba.com; Japanese B&B (ryokan) with indoor pool, tatami mats, lovely garden; ask for Pine Suite (Matsu No Ma).
Sights & Sites
Christian Harvest Center – 199 Mallery Road; 413-458-1083; has 5-side of die on steeple, per request financer-gambler’s request in 1828.
New Ashford Town Hall – 188 Mallery Road; 413-458-5461; beginning in 1916, New Ashford had distinction of casting 1st presidential election vote (Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, does today); accordingly, this small rural town is 1st woman cast vote in US national election, November 20, 1920; wooden ballot box used on this historic occasion still sits in town hall and is used today.

North Adams
Sights & Sites
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art – 1040 Mass MoCA Way; 413-662-2111; massmoca.org.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Dottie’s Coffee Lounge – 444 North Street; 413-443-1792; dottiescoffeelounge.com; grunge meets vintage vibe; excellent macchiato.
Bars & Nightclubs
Mission Bar + Tapas – 438 North Street; 413-443-1234; missionbarandtapas.com; live music and late-night menu; Spanish, with Barcelona emphasis.
Dottie’s Coffee Lounge – 444 North Street; 413-443-1792; dottiescoffeelounge.com; grunge meets vintage vibe; pancake brunch on Sundays, breakfast menu all other days.
Mission Bar + Tapas – 438 North Street; 413-443-1234; missionbarandtapas.com; live music and late-night menu; Spanish, with Barcelona emphasis.
Ferrin Gallery – 437 North Street; 413-442-1622; ferringallery.com; expensive pieces; photography.
Sites & Sights
Arrowhead (Herman Melville House) – 780 Holmes Road; 413-442-1793; mobydick.org; Herman Melville’s home during his most productive years (1850-1863; where wrote major works such as Moby-Dick, Pierre (dedicated to nearby Mount Greylock), Confidence-Man, and Israel Potter, as well as short story collection entitled Piazza Tales, including “Benito Cereno” and “Bartleby the Scrivener”; US National Historic Landmark and museum.
Berkshire Museum – 39 South Street; 413-443-7171; berkshiremuseum.org; child-friendly basement aquarium; open since 1903; also holds art-house film showings.
Colonial Theater – 111 South Street; 413-997-4444; thecolonialtheatre.org; Gilded Age treasure with stage once graced by Rachmaninoff, Will Rogers, and Ziegfield Follies; now home to various arts performances.

Guest House at Field Farm – 554 Sloan Road; 413-458-3135; guesthouseatfieldfarm.thetrustees.org; built in 1948; guesthouse containing fine, loaned Williams College art collection; on 296-acre property with 4 miles public hiking trails; guest rooms have large windows with expansive views over grounds; 3 rooms have private decks; 2 have working tile fireplaces; East Room has best Mt. Greylock views, while Gallery Room has best art; prepare own simple meals in pantry; no TV in rooms; closed from January 2nd to April 1st.
Sights & Sites
Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute – 225 South Street; 413-458-2303; clarkart.edu; Winslow Homer collection is extensive and varied.

Berkshire East – 66 Thunder Mountain Road; 413-339-6618; berkshireeast.com; in winter, ski resort; in summer, canopy tours and zip-lining.
Zoar Outdoor – 7 Main Street; 413-339-4010 or 800-532-7483; zoaroutdoor.com; kayaking, rafting, rock-climbing, and zip-lining adventures.
Sights & Sites
Mohawk Trail State Forest – Route 2; 413-339-5504; mass.gov/dcr/parks/western/mhwk.htm; state’s largest surviving old growth forest portion; also, tallest tree in New England, “Jake Swamp Pine” (171') in Trees of Peace Grove.

Shelburne (includes Buckland & Shelburne Falls)
Davenport Maple Farm – 111 Tower Road; 413-625-2866; farmfresh.org/food/farm.php?farm=1215; since 1913, some of country’s best maple syrup.
Nancy L. Dole Books & Ephemera – 20 State Street (Buckland); 413-625-2210; nancydolebooks.com; eclectic collection of used books and postcards; worth special trip.
Little Big House – 323 Patten Road; 413-625-6697; littlebighousegallery.com; brightly-colored, storybook cottage, construction of which creates optical illusion; hand-built home and studio of metalworking artist Glenn Ridler.
Salmon Falls Artisans’ Showroom – 1 Ashfield Street (Buckland); 413-625-9833; salmonfallsgallery.com; over 100 local artists exhibit here, including glassworker Josh Simpson.
Shelburne Arts Cooperative – 26 Bridge Street (Shelburne Falls); 413-625-9324; shelburneartscoop.com; founded in 1998 as 8-artist partnership; area arts & crafts marketed by consignment.
Sights & Sites
Bridge of Flowers – crosses Deerfield River (Shelburne Falls); bridgeofflowersmass.org; pedestrian-only, converted trolley bridge planted with flowers; maintained since 1929.
High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary – Patten Road (Shelburne Falls); 978-464-2712; massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/Sanctuaries/High_Ledges/index.php; numerous species wildflowers along 4-mile trail system; ledges, for which site named, offer panoramic view over Deerfield River valley and Mt. Greylock, state’s highest mountain; most rewarding path is outermost trail(s), following in large, counterclockwise loop, saving cool breeze and stunning overlook at ledges for end.

Bars & Nightclubs
Tunnel Bar – 125A Pleasant Street (at Strong Avenue); 413-586-5366; thetunnelbar.com; built underground in old pedestrian tunnel; arched stone walls, sleek bar & big, comfy chairs; ideal for classy night out.

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