Now that summer weather is amongst us, lots of Berkshire residents and visitors in our area are lacing up their sneakers as they are getting ready to do some hiking in our terrain (and believe me, there is plenty of territory to explore here in south county). Therefore, we have some suggestions (5 of them to be specific) where you can check out breathtaking views of our backyard and the experience is guaranteed to bring you back in our friendly confines.

Without further ado, here are the top 5 hiking spots in south county:

1) Housatonic Flats in Great Barrington has an assortment of trails to explore with spring being the ideal time to take in the sights. It is also an excellent location for bird watching, so bring those binoculars on your upcoming trek. A round trip hike usually lasts within a half hour and here is a sample video to prepare you for this exciting experience:

2) Steeple Top is located east of Great Barrington as the trail borders The New Marlborough-Sandisfield town line.This is also designated as an easy trek as the ideal seasons to experience this hour and a half hike is during the summer and winter months. Keep an eye out for a slew of wetlands and extensive wildlife while you are out and about. If you need more information or details, log on here.

3) Stedman Pond at Hudson-Howard in Monterey is a 13 acre property that is sure to enthrall all hikers who set foot in this oasis which is also deemed as one of the Berkshire's best areas to swim and bring a picnic basket to enjoy a late lunch or early dinner. The pond has also been designated as an "electronics free" zone where visitors can commune with their thoughts and avoid any distractions in the process, so leave the gadgets behind. This pond is located about two tenths of a mile just beyond the Monterey-Tyringham town line. Here is a video that can put you in a "tranquil" state of mind:

4) Thomas & Palmer Brook in Great Barrington is a perfect locale for beginners as the round trip trail is only about a half mile long and is ideal to walk during the spring, summer and fall months. You can park on route 23 opposite Koi's Chinese Restaurant and enter into a different world where the terrain's wetlands take center stage. A total of 219 acres await prospective visitors as it is recommended to take photos of your upcoming journey. For a preview, you can access this link by going here

5) Clam River in Sandisfield is more of an advanced trail that encompasses 3 miles as it will take you about 2 hours to explore from start to finish. It is ideal to check out this terrain located just outside of Sandisfield Road during the summer months when the weather is warmer due to it's deep density. This location also has excessive amounts of wildlife, so be on the lookout. Here is another video to sample before making this trek in the eastern part of Berkshire county:

A wonderful world awaits those who plan to make one of these excursions to check out some pristine areas in our vicinity, so what are you waiting for! The benefits of nature in our backyard await all prospective hikers whether local or visiting. It's a trip you'll NEVER forget for sure!

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