20201019

Autumn in the Berkshires

Last weekend was a long weekend..we took Friday off as well and went to the Berkshires in Massachusetts. On Friday we drove up to North Adams. We had lunch at A-OK BBQ. It was so so good. The kids had mac and cheese while M and I had the pulled chicken sandwiches.

A OK BBQ North Adams Massachusetts

We walked around the area.. discovered a gorgeous shop called Roam selling goods made by African villagers and craftsmen. The Mass MOCA Museum is also located there, unfortunately we could not stop in for a visit :( Before heading out we grabbed coffee and the boys ice cream from Tunnel City Coffee. 

Our next stop was Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. The internet informed me that hiking to the summit with small children was not easy so we decided to drive right up to the summit. 

Mount Greylock Massachusetts

While on Greylock we decided to hike to Stony Ledge, a rocky outcropping offering scenic vistas of the Greylock mountain range. Google said it was a 30 minute walk to the vista point.. but it took us much longer.. the hike was less a hike and more a walk on an unpaved road covered with leaves.. it didn't have enough 'adventure' H complained. But the view almost made it worth it.

Berkshires Massachusetts


Stony Ledge Greylock Mountain


Tired.. we finally made our way to our hotel. We stopped on the way to pick up a pizza from Betty's Pizza Shack in Lenox, which was also very good and ate it in our room. 

We went back and forth about renting a place via VRBO again or staying in a hotel and went with the hotel because it is easier to cancel if things like the weather or a peak in the virus happen and we decide not to go. It was our first time in a hotel since Covid and I don't think we would do it again for the time being. There was no temperature check, they didn't ask us which state we were from.. what if we had needed quarantining? We filled out the basic form stating we hadn't been in contact with anyone with Covid etc. There was no maid service, they just placed towels or anything else you may need outside the door, which was a good thing. Breakfast was coffee and pre packaged baked goods and fruit also a good safety measure. But there were just so many people and variables.. 

On Saturday we had breakfast in Lee at the Starving Artist Cafe and Creperie. Nom nom.. my pumpkin crepe was delicious. 

starving artist cafe and creperie

After breakfast we walked around the town for a bit.. they had a small farmers market.. the weather was nice and sunny. 

Our next stop was the town of Stockbridge. We started by hiking the Ice Glen, a lush ravine with a lot of boulders. Because it gets very little direct sunlight there is ice present in the crevices of the rocks even in summer. We didn't see any ice but it was definitely much cooler in the glen. This was one of our favorite hikes for the trip. Lots of rocks to climb over. 

Ice Glen Stockbridge

Stockbridge Massachusetts


The Ice Glen hike continued on to Laura's Tower hike. The tower was a bit of a let down. The trees surrounding it were so tall and over grown there was no view. We headed back to the town and had some lunch at the Main Street Cafe and then walked around for a bit. Fortunately we happened across Peace Love and Chocolate and bought a few chocolates. 

A note on our fellow hikers.. everyone was very courteous. A majority of people masked up when they approached each other, many stopped to give way or moved to the other side. Never did it feel over crowded or unsafe. We were surprised by the number of people saying hi as they passed.. can't see smiles so I suppose verbal greetings were used to show friendliness. Solidarity. 

We refrained from eating our newly purchased chocolates and instead drove down to Great Barrington to try out Massachusetts' best ice cream, SoCo Creamery. M is very rarely impressed by ice cream, he was so in love with this ice cream we stopped in again to get some more ice cream the very next day. 

SoCo Creamery Great Barrington

Next we headed toward Monument Mountain Reservation. There were three paths to choose from. We started on the blue Indian Monument Trail which was relatively flat and boring.. then connected to the red Squawk Peak trail. The red trail was our favorite.. a must do, had lots of rocks and boulders for the kids to climb and beautiful view points which honestly made us a little nervous because my little guy thinks he's a super hiker and can wander off to the edge of cliffs. 

Monument Mountain Great Barrington

Autumn in the Berkshires

We made our way down via the orange Hickey trail.. not a favorite. It was incredibly steep and dark. We headed back to the main downtown area of Great Barrington to find some food. While there were plenty of outdoor options there was not a lot of availability being a Saturday night. After waiting a long long time we finally got our food. We ordered from Fiesta Bar and Grill. It was starting to get cold, we were hungry and tired. I'm not sure what we ate but we ate, no one talked or complained.. we devoured, drove back to the hotel and crawled into bed. Ah sleep.

Sunday we had planned on driving a part of the Mohawk Trail. The Mohawk Trail began as a Native American trade route which connected Atlantic tribes with tribes in Upstate New York and beyond. We stared the trail from the town of Shelburne Falls. 

We had breakfast at Foxtown Diner.. walked around, perused the shops. Shelburne Falls is also home to the bridge of flowers. Initially a trolley bridge.. eventually a new bridge was needed to be built but this one could not be demolished due to it also housing a water main. Hence, it remained abandoned and home to overgrown weeds. In 1929 a local housewife decided to turn it into a garden. The Shelburne Women's Club raised the money and voila!

Shelburne Falls Mohawk Trail

Bridge of Flowers Shelburne Falls

Unfortunately, the bridge was closed due to Covid but it was still pretty. Just a walk away were also the Glacial Potholes. There are up to 50 glacial potholes, a result of the last glacial age and the magic of erosion.



They were much prettier in person and up till 2002 they were open to the public to take a cool soak on a muggy New England day. 

And then we were on our way.. turns out the Mohawk trail aka Route 2.. all 30 miles that we drove on looked like any other New England road with lovely orange, yellow and red leaves. Which gets a little repetitive after a while. I had imagined a pretty road with an occasional coffee shop or eatery.. some shops.. but there was nothing of the sort except if you count the one tacky Native American themed store. Luckily we drove by the Hicks Family Farm. The kids wanted to do the corn maze. And I must say this was one of the best corn mazes we have ever done. 

Hick's Family Farm

Hick's Family Farm Corn Maze


There was a scavenger hunt and scenes from Wizard of Oz, Alice and Wonderland etc were scattered throughout the maze. We were impressed by the amount of thought and effort that was put into it. There was a petting zoo and other activities as well. The boys both got baby pumpkins after they turned in their scavenger hunts. 

Next we stopped at the Mohawk State Park. It is a camping spot.. we didn't hike any of the trails but we stretched our legs along the river bed. 

Mohawk State Park

There was nowhere to eat along the Mohawk Trail.. except the Golden Eagle. They had the perfect location on the corner of a hair pin turn. With nothing else available for miles one doesn't really have much of a choice but to eat there or not eat at all. Plus bathroom for customers only. Since they are the only choice quality of food is not really their top priority. But the view was incredible. 

Hairpin turn along Mohawk Trail

Our last stop along the Mohawk Trail was the Natural Bridge State Park. Named for its natural bridge of white marble, unique in North America. The bedrock marble from which the natural bridge was created is estimated to be some 550 million years old. Water from glacial runoff began carving the arch after the last Ice Age 13,000 years ago.

Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge State Park

We drove back down to Great Barrington for dinner. Some delish Thai food and topped it off with some more ice cream from SoCo Creamery.. it was that good!


Monday we checked out ready to head back home. We had breakfast at On a Roll Cafe and then swung by the chocolate shop next door, Chocolate Springs Cafe and bought some more chocolates!

Chocolate Springs Cafe Lenox

It was a refreshing little getaway.. since there will be no sitting in planes this year we are going to try do do more of these local getaways.. though it may be harder when the temps start to drop. We were blessed with good weather all three days we were there and then it rained all the way home.. phew. 

Autumn in the Berkshires

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31 comments:

Jennifer said...

That view is amazing!! Looks like you all had fun!

Jennifer
Curated by Jennifer

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Looks like everyone had a fun time! Wow, such natural beauty and fantastic landscapes! And I want that pumpkin crepe.

karen said...

this is my kind of trip! I don't have to get on an airplane and I can drive :) Love that last photo the very best!! I have stayed at two hotels during covid, I was ultra impressed with the first and the second was meh.

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

That looks like it was a perfect getaway for your family. You did a lot of hiking and saw some beautiful sights. Thank you for sharing. The food all looked so good too!

Jeanie said...

Hena, you are in familiar territory to me, but I haven't been lucky enough to visit the Berks for many decades. Our recent trips have been in the winter. (Rick has skied at Mt. Greylock). Should you return, check out the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge and Hancock Shaker Village, just outside of Pittsfield, one of my favorite places in the world. It was fun to see Lee and Lenox again through your eyes. Oh, and your next trip, you all might enjoy The Montague Book Mill -- it's hard to find but worth the drive. Tons and tons and tons of very reasonably priced used books in just about every category set on a beautiful river. I think your boys would like it too! thanks for taking me there today!

Sparkles and Lattes said...

The views from your hike are amazing. I am all about that delicious food. Makes me hungry for lunch. Looks like you guys had a great time on your trip!

Chatty Crone said...

I LOVED going on that trip with you. You have so many wonderful memories from there and the kids will always remember. My favorite is your hubs and kids jumping up! The food looks great. Sandie

Polyester Princess said...

Looks like the perfect Autumn getaway, although I am hearing you on the hotel issue. I wouldn't have felt comfortable either. The panorama from Stony Ledge is magnificent, and I'm absolutely loving that "jumping" photo of your hubby and kids. Such fun! I'm loving the story of the bridge turned into a garden. What a shame it wasn't open. And finally, I am absolutely drooling over all that delicious food! xxx

Elephant's Child said...

Wow. What incredible scenery (and food). It looked like a blissful weekend away and thank you for sharing the beauty and the joy.

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing all this gorgeous scenery with us! We get our fall colors so much later down here (if at all, some years), so ours are just beginning to turn.

I'm fascinated by the glacial potholes!

Kathrine Eldridge said...

It looks beautiful there and the food looks so delicious!

https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

What a fun family trip! Looks like you had perfect weather too.

Samantha@WLABB said...

I am jealous! All the pictures are stunning and it looks like the weather was great too. And what is that near the bottom, an amazing pile of french toast? Whatever it is, looks delicious.

Laura B said...

What a fun getaway! And the photos are gorgeous! I'm hungry after seeing that pumpkin crepe! And the glacial potholes are really neat!

Emmylou said...

Always great to see your family getaway pics:) Must say though...you guys are brave for staying in a hotel, but the number of cases there is probably lower than ours here. Anyhoo, thanks for sharing as always. Would love to visit Massachusetts someday for sure.
PS My daughter and I love Umbrella Academy! (Season 2 was pretty awesome as well). I do have to censor a lot of the scenes for her, but oh well:D And we met Tom Hopper (Luther) when he did the Fan Expo last year. He was such a charming guy and was very nice to my daughter when she got his autograph:)

Red Rose Alley said...

That pulled chicken sandwich looks so good. What a fun get away with your family. It's wonderful that the kids got to explore at the pumpkin farm. Children always love browsing through the fields trying to find the perfect pumpkin to take home. The bridge photo is fantastic, and my favorite was the fifth photo of your guys overlooking the mountains in their caps. That one should be framed, my friend.
You always take vacations that are filled with beauty and wonder.

~Sheri

Jodie's Touch of Style said...

Gosh what a wonderful get away Hena. I love that photo where they are jumping in the air.
XOXO
Jodie
www.jtouchofstyle.com

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

That BBQ looks so good and wow, that is some prime fall color!

Carrie
curlycraftymom.com

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra said...

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this getaway. My best friend and I did a girls' weekend/yoga retreat in the Berkshires a few years ago and we both thought it was just such a lovely place.

Veronica Lee said...

Looks like a fun weekend getaway, Hena.

The views from your hike are breathtaking!

Rach said...

Wow look at that view!! So Stunning!

www.rdsobsessions.com

awhite said...

The Berkshires are such a pretty party of the country- and I spy some fall colors poppin'!

-Ashley
Le Stylo Rouge

littleglitterybox said...

This looks like so much fun! How gorgeous are those views and the food looks so delish.

xx Simone
Little Glittery Box

Debbie said...

WoW!! it is so beautiful there, fall sure has arrived!! and i just have to say that you always find awesome food!!

looks like a great trip!!

Jackie Harrison said...

Beautiful place and images

R's Rue said...

Yum

Amy Johnson said...

Oh my goodness, that view is amazing! What a great trip you had! All the food looks delicious and your kids sure seem to like climbing all those rocks!

Paola Lauretano said...

So many beautiful pics, gorgeous fall colors!
Kisses, Paola.

Expressyourself


My Instagram

Stefanie said...

You had some great moments captured in this post. What a nice getaway.

Doused in Pink | Chicago Style Blog said...

What a gorgeous place to visit and hike! The views are amazing! It looks like such a fun trip!

Jill - Doused in Pink

Monica Hein ~ Beauty Diary said...

Looks like you guys had so much fun!

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