9 Hiking Adventures For All Ages in the Berkshires
Get outside and explore a local mountain (and landmark!) with the family this summer! The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is offering nearly ten different weekly hikes throughout the summer at Mount Greylock State Reservation, the highest point in the state of Massachusetts. Families of all ages and hiking abilities will find multiple opportunities each week to venture to various parts of the reservation – hikes highlight everything from waterfalls to local flora and fauna, hiking and woods skills to summit habitats.
Families with young children can introduce small kiddos to the wonder of the natural world and the fun of hiking at the weekly Tyke Hike, an easy and slow woods adventure that ends with a nature-themed storytime. Older kids can enjoy more strenuous hikes or take part in Hiking 101, designed to teach confidence on the trails and equip participants with the skills necessary to become seasoned hikers.
Along with introducing kids to the love hiking, the weekly adventures provide families with regular opportunities to engage with and learn about their local surroundings…
Not only will families become more familiar with the reservation’s trails, but the more time that they spend outside, the more they will become aware of the many different plants and creatures that call the mountain home. Spending time in nature can help young children develop curiosity to learn more about the things that they see, and can help older students develop context for the biology and natural history that they may have learned about in school…
All hikes are free, but there is a small fee for parking at the reservation. The Visitor Center – where hikes begin – is located at 30 Rockwell Road in Lanesborough, MA. Here is a list of their weekly hikes:
- Guided Hike: Mondays, 10am – 2pm. A rigorous hike to various locations on Greylock. All ages welcome. Sturdy foot-wear suggested, bring lunch and water! Meet at Visitor Center and carpool to location.
- Discover Greylock Hike: Wednesdays, 1pm – 4pm. This long-distance hike explores some of the more exciting and hidden features of Greylock. Sturdy foot-wear suggested, snack and water too! Meet at Visitor Center and carpool to location.
- Breakfast Hike: Fridays, 7am – 9:30am. Wake up and start your morning with a short hike! Finish with breakfast at Bascom Lodge. Hike is free. Fee for breakfast (optional). All ages welcome. Meet at Visitor Center.
- Tyke Hike: Fridays, 10am – 11am. For ages 8 and under and parents/guardians. Go for a short hike to experience the nature around us then listen to a fun children’s story. A great opportunity to introduce children to the outdoors. Wear sneakers/shoes. Meet at Visitor Center.
- Hiking 101: Fridays, 1pm – 4pm. Build hiking confidence through this guided hike. Discuss trail safety, map reading, equipment, bear etiquette. All ages welcome. Meet at Visitor Center.
- Wild Waterfalls: Saturdays, 1pm – 4pm. Love waterfalls? Greylock has some beauties. Explore them individually in this series of hikes. Be prepared for strenuous hiking and wet, slippery conditions with sturdy shoes. Meet at Visitor Center.
- Nice and Easy Hike: Wednesdays, 9am – 12pm and Saturdays, 9am – 12pm. Stay active with easy-paced, two hour hikes, geared especially for seniors, but all ages welcome. A different trail is featured each week. Call for meeting location. Meet at Visitor Center.
- Nature Discovery Hike: Sundays, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm. Easy walk tailored to visitor interests. All ages welcome. Meet at Visitor Center and carpool to location.
- Summit Ramble: Fridays, 10:30am – 1:30pm; Saturdays, 1pm – 1:45pm & 3pm -3:45pm; Sundays, 1pm – 1:45pm & 3pm – 3:45pm. Short hikes on the summit of Greylock to discover landscape and ecology of the state’s highest point. All ages welcome. Meet at Greylock summit ($2/$3 parking fee applies).
For more info call 413-499-4262, or visit online at www.mass.gov.
[Photo credit: (ccl) Troy B. Thompson]