The ridges are open. They stretch to the horizon. We call them the purple mountains — the Berkshire hills. They run along the western edge of Massachusetts, along the New York border. The land rises into high valleys, and the Appalachain trail runs through them north to south. What can you do outdoors in the Berkshires? Hike, climb, swim, bike … and see for miles.

In Covid-19 in the Berkshires we have trails and rivers and mountains to climb, and our gardens and parks are re-opening …

Protected land surrounds land people have shaped and used for thousands of years. Come outdoors and you can listen to jazz in a Gilded Age garden or backpack for as long as it takes to catch your breath.

Where can you hike in the Berkshires?

We have a wide network of trails, some rugged and some gentle. The Appalachian Trail runs through the county north to south, from the Connecticut line to the Green Mountains in Vermont, and at the top of the county it climbs our hightest hill.

Mount Greylock has had its own local lore long before J.K. Rowling set Ilvermorny on top of it (to found her her North American school of magic). The summit is high enough to hold an island of boreal forest, northern woodlands more common in Canada.  From the lighthouse memorial and the 1930s WPA lodge, a through-hiker can look out across hundreds of arts and cultural sites and miles of unbroken forest.

The Berkshires shelters rare and unusual places. You may find a marble arch at Natural Bridge in North Adams, a floating bog in Savoy, calcareous fens in Stockbridge … or butterflies in the meadows.