Massachusetts is Home to 10 Best Fall Foliage Hikes in New England
Fall is the best time of the year to live in, or visit Massachusetts. Warm days and cool nights, breathtaking fall foliage, apple orchards and pumpkin patches, and amazing seasonal farm-to-table cuisine. In Autumn, you can't ask for much more.
While Massachusetts offers great outdoor activities throughout the state, one of the best things about living in The Berkshires of western Massachusetts specifically is the abundance of hiking trails available. Trails are located all over the county and there are routes suitable for all levels.
We put together a list of ten of the most popular family-friendly western Massachusetts hikes that are stunning this time of year and truly highlight the beauty of the Berkshires.
Ashmere Lake Dam - Hinsdale
The Ashmere Lake Dam is an engineering marvel. The trail to the right of the public boat ramp is perfectly flat and takes you directly over the dam, giving hikers of all levels unbeatable views of the south side of Ashmere Lake and an up-close opportunity to explore a modern working dam and make sure to check out the perch fifteen feet above the dam’s rocky shoreline.
Balance Rock State Park - Lanesboro
This famous Berkshire County landmark is a 165-ton limestone boulder, balanced impossibly on a tiny stone is truly a site to see and the photo ops are endless. The well-maintained, wide path is great for all families.
Bash Bish Falls - South Egremont
Just before the New York State border, Bash Bish Falls Road in Mount Washington State Park leads to the county’s most spectacular waterfall. The 80-foot drop of Bash Bish Brook lands in a crystal clear basin said to be as deep as the waterfall is high. Follow the massive mountain-side staircase to the bottom of the falls for the best photo ops or a picnic beside the falls.
Becket Quarry Walk - Becket
This outdoor quarry museum and nature preserve, marked by dozens of stone pillars highlighting the history of this long-abandoned quarry, includes industrial-sized turn of Century drills, winches, derricks, and mining vehicles. There's also a massive marble staircase rising to a cathedral-like arrangement of birch trees with unbelievable views of the water-filled quarry below.
The Boulders Preserve - Dalton
This great nature area with a variety of wide, easy trails and has a huge pay-off at the top. Once you arrive at the peak you can climb huge glacial erratics and slide back down them. Plenty of room for a picnic with the family as well.
Cascades Trail - North Adams
An easy hiking trail that rewards visitors with a stunning view of the 40-foot waterfall. Whether you have an hour or an entire day, this trail provides the perfect backdrop for an outdoor family adventure.
Field Farm - Williamstown
The pond trail is a quick loop, complete with wooden bridges, and perfect for small kids. The 1 mile North Trail will guide you past spectacular outdoor sculptures and unbeatable mountain views. The Caves Loop is also great for as you can watch a small stream disappear into a series of underground caves.
Clark Art Trails - Williamstown
There are not just extraordinary art collections at the Clark Art Museum, the beautiful 140-acre campus is also home to hiking trails, meadows, and incredible views of the village beautiful. There are bathrooms accessible as well.
Greylock Glen - Cheshire
Greylock Glen Meadow is a 1.5-mile loop and gives stunning views of Mount Greylock and the surrounding mountains. Adults and kids alike can climb the massive black willow, explore the remnants of an abandoned ski area, and enjoy lunch in the gazebo overlooking the pond.
Monument Mountain - Great Barrington
One of the county’s most well-traveled hiking trails, with sweeping views stretching from the Catskills to Mt. Greylock. A hike to the Squaw Peak summit of Monument Mountain will not disappoint, however, it gets a little more advanced, so you may want to skip the summit with smaller kids.
Natural Bridge State Park - North Adams
This stunning gem will take your breath away. Follow trails past 550 million-year-old marble bridges and arches and traverse a series of stone stairs and metal gangways over incredible waterfalls, caverns, and gorges. Natural Bridge State Park is a natural playground for all ages. Restrooms can be found in the visitors center.