By Jonah Sykes
There are a ton of reasons why I feel excited whenever anyone asks me why I choose to live and work in the beautiful Berkshires. Here is my laundry list, one that I think most people who choose to participate in the excitement and enthusiasm of this community would probably agree with:
- It’s always beautiful. Even in the harshest winter, there’s still something beautiful about the rolling hills and the sweeping views. It’s hard to put into words the beauty that is all around us here and the stillness this place inspires, words like rustic, rural, bountiful, verdant and historic come to mind but do not do the area justice.
- We have a ton to do and if you don’t already know this, then I can only assume you haven’t been introduced to the right network of friendly people. Getting engaged is easy, it just takes a leap of faith , so email me, I am here to help! No one should ever feel bored within the confines of the Berkshires.
- The richness of New England history fill the city streets, make their mark on the small country stores, add depth to the vast rural fields, and even speckle the mountainside in ways that few locations can claim. It’s a joy, and transcendent, to participate in learning about the history of the Berkshires, and it adds value and meaning to the place we call home.
- Finally (because I could keep going!), there’s no better place, in my view, to experience the spirit and recreation of being outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, or just taking your dogs for long walks, it’s better in the Berkshires.
The latter is my favorite of the choices. With two huge Great Pyrenees pups it’s important to tire them out (which is wicked easy to do) otherwise they’ll find creative and often destructive ways to beat the doldrums around the house after being cooped up all day.
I’ve been asked many times where to go for hikes in the Berkshires. I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert, but I have found a few choice haunts that are dog-friendly (which is key for me) that I seriously can’t stop Instagramming about!
There’s the Shaker Reservoir, Strawberry Hill, Kennedy Park, Field Farm, Ice Glen, Steven’s Glen, Greylock Glen, Tyringham Cobble, and much more. My all-time go-to for quick, exciting, and really relaxed walking with the two massive monsters is Wild Acres, right near the Pittsfield Airport.
I have so many pictures of this recently made over walking spot through the woods, that my friends have asked me to please stop taking them. They’re getting boring!
You park near the gate, walk a winding dirt path flanked by tall golden grass, curve past the pit stop to enter the forest trails which are often unused by large crowds (just be careful to avoid any bears that get spooked into the trees – true story).
You have to come more than once to experience the three distinct paths. One winds up a hill and then down, rushing toward the Wild Acres Pond. Insider tip: They stock this pond with fish every spring for their derby in the summer, so you have kids under 14 they can fish here whenever they choose.
The other path heads by the fallen tree and the graves of pets who’s trail days are over, but then comes out at the old rusted airport tower that, once at the top, looks over the sharp and boggy swamps we in Western Mass have grown to love. Both paths meet up again, and there’s a third path that cuts through them both. You’re sure to see some planes landing or taking off, which is always fun, and spotting the occasional family of deer on the runway is not unheard of.
It’s one of the many quiet places that allow you to take stock, clear your mind, appreciate the beauty of the area, and tire your pups out too. It’s just one of the many places I go to recharge – and I hope after reading this you’ll swing in too.
The Berkshires are an exciting and also quiet place to call home. Go step out into her embrace and you’ll probably find that living, playing and working here are all kind of the same thing.