A new website devoted to the region’s expansive greenspace will make finding that less-crowded hiking trail easier than ever.
Recently 1Berkshire has been working with Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC), among other community partners, to assist in the development of an outdoor recreation website. The purpose of the site is to provide a comprehensive and user-friendly experience to discover the bounty of outdoor activities available in the Berkshires all year long.
The site will include information about hiking, from wildlife conservation properties to state parks, as well as a full range of other activities, such as boating, skiing, hunting, mountain biking, and road cycling, plus adventure parks, golf courses, and sports courts.
Work on the website kicked off officially last fall, and builds on regional outdoor recreation planning that began in 2020. Expected completion is late 2023.
Laura Brennan, Economic Development Program Manager at BRPC, explained the importance of developing this new website. “The feedback we gathered while developing Berkshire County’s Outdoor Recreation Plan in 2020 really emphasized the need for more thorough, centralized information online. With over 600 distinct access points to our mountains, meadows, and waterways, it’s important to provide a comprehensive resource that will support user enjoyment and safety. We’re excited this project is now underway.”
Berkshires.org, 1Berkshire’s tourism site and the primary entry point for visitors coming to the region – and a useful resource for residents who live in the Berkshires permanently – will act as a “parent” site and companion tool. The two websites will be linked so that users can move easily between the two, pairing their outdoor research and adventures with cultural pursuits, dining options, and lodging plans. While the outdoor rec site will stand on its own, it will be designed to look and feel like a focused counterpart, making the navigation from one site to the other as seamless as possible.
The site will help users pinpoint locations that are accessible, dog and family-friendly, or are equipped with restroom facilities. In addition, the committee hopes this site will help spread visitors and residents across the Berkshires, encouraging visitation to lesser-known and less-crowded trails and areas. This will not only make the experience more enjoyable, it will decrease the impact to the environment. Parking, pet waste, and nonstop footfalls can unintentionally harm delicate areas of wildlife.
Access to the outdoors has always been a primary and valuable resource for the Berkshires, but as the pandemic drove people outside in record numbers, the region’s greenspace grew in popularity. In a 2021 poll, for the first time since 1Berkshire began periodically surveying visitors about their experiences, outdoor recreation surpassed culture as a reason to travel to the Berkshires.
Stay tuned for more updates regarding this exciting project!
Love the Berkshire Outdoors? Save the Date for Mountain Day!
The 2nd annual Mountain Day with The Whisky Treaty Roadshow will be on July 22 at Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield. Festivities begin with a free Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Conference where you can learn about new initiatives in mountain biking, cycling, and outdoor rec from local experts. At 3pm, purchase a ticket to enjoy the Vendor Village and live music, which culminates in The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow taking the mainstage at 8pm. Learn more here.
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