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ButteBag/Rural Berkshires

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The Rural Berkshires are in The Berkshires. This collection of towns and villages is both achingly picturesque and sparsely populated. The (relatively) high travel times between these communities serve to keep the crowds at bay. But intrepid travelers with time to spare are sure to discover quality antiquing, connections to nature, and scores of compelling shops, bakeries, and other hidden gems.


Becket Arts Center

Population: 1,779; Elevation: 1,200 ft (370 m)

Home of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Population: 6,756; Elevation: 1,199 ft (365 m)

The Appalachian Trail runs right through the center of Dalton, and many hikers can be seen staying in the home and camping on the lawn of local resident Tom Levardi on Depot St where hikers are welcomed. Dalton is also the home of Crane and Co. which has made the US currency and security papers for more than two centuries. There's a saying about the town that "the buck starts here". The Housatonic River winds south through Dalton and then through many other towns in Berkshire County on its 139-mile journey to the Long Island Sound. Dalton's surrounding mountains well exemplifies the many rolling hills for which the county is noted. One well-known and often visited location east of town off of Route 9 is Wahconah Falls State Park. Water flows from the reservoir above down in a beautifully tiered fashion alongside a scenic hiking trail, culminating in a spectacular 40 ft (12 m) descent into a deep pool. Legend has it that a love-sick Indian maiden named Wahconah jumped to her death there. However, upon further investigation, and contrary to this local lore, an article on web paints a decidedly happier tale of the Indian maiden's fate. This version of the story reflects a more endearing twist in which an English soldier wins the heart and hand of young Wahconah.

Population: 2,032; Elevation: 1,442 ft (440 m)

Population: 5,943; Elevation: 1,000 ft (300 m)

a 1-mile stretch of road reveals and stunning downtown where you can discover more than 7 nationalities represented in restaurants! Enjoy antiquing, bakeries, and many other interesting shops/stores/hidden gems. Lee is found at exit 2 of Interstate 90, the downtown is about 1 mile west on Route 20.

View east on State Route 23 in Monterey

Population: 961; Elevation: 1,244 ft (379 m)

Home of the Beartown State Forest, a small downtown strip with an old-timey General Store. Cool. Off the beated path. From Great Barrington, follow Route 23 east for 5.3 miles to Monterey.

New Marlborough
Population: 1,509; Elevation: 1,351 ft (412 m)

A small village outside of Great Barrington. Cute and petite downtown with a library, General Store, and Fire Station.

Population: 1,612; Elevation: 1,220 ft (370 m)

Population: 847; Elevation: 2,064 ft (629 m)

Population: 915; Elevation: 1,577 ft (481 m)

Population: 327; Elevation: 902 ft (275 m)

Population: 538; Elevation: 1,412 ft (430 m)

Population: 899; Elevation: 2,031 ft (619 m)

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]




Robin Hood Lake
  • Jacob's Pillow, 358 George Carter Rd. (Becket), +1 413-243-9919, . Jacob's Pillow is a very famous summer dance festival.
  • October Mountain State Forest (Lee), +1 413 243-1778. Woodland Road. This is the largest state forest in Massachusetts at 16,500 acres. Trails for every level of experience are available, including the Appalachian Trail and a trail through Schermerhorn Gorge, a noted geological feature. There are also many great trails for ATV's. The Forest also has 46 campsites on a sunny hill. Snowmobiling and car-top boating is available.
  • Beartown State Forest (Monterey), +1 413 528-0904. Blue Hill Road. A 12,000 acre forest with an extensive trail system. Thirty-five acre pristine Benedict Pond provides swimming, boating and fishing. Home of diverse wildlife including deer, bobcats, fishers and, of course, the park's namesake, the Black Bear. There are brooks, beaver ponds, and rich deciduous forest perfect for fall foliage viewing. The Appalachian Trail passes near Benedict Pond offering spectacular views.




St. Paul's Church
  • Glass Bottom Brewery, 480 Pleasant St, Lee, MA 01238 (Lee), +1 413 243-6170. Eclectic brewery located in the bowls of a slightly sketchy industrial complex. Unique styles like the teaSB, a beer made with parsnips, and a beer brewed with herbs for cheese pairing. One of the owners grows hops for the brewery.







Go next[edit]

Check out Springfield, home of basketball.

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