Pittsfield State Forest
These woods on the Taconic ridge have many claims to fame — Balance Rock, and Berry Pond, the highest natural body of water in Massachusetts, and the summit’s wide view west into New York State. But the azaleas are among the rarest — acres of azaleas.
Catch the right time in late May to mid-June and You’ll find the hillsides near the summit a sea of deep pink flowers.
The park also allows hiking, camping and swimming in season — 30 miles of trails criss-cross the 11,000 acres of forest held by the Department of Conservation, and you may want to be aware that ATVs are allowed on many of them from May to November (which can change the tenor of the experience at some times of year — but the Taconic Crest Trail, which runs north to south through the forest and north into Vermont, is a walking trail.