The Berkshires; Top 10 Stops on The Mohawk Trail
The rustic charm of The Berkshires is best experienced along scenic Route 2, as you drive past rolling countryside, inviting farmhouses and the deciduous forests of The Mohawk Trail. Residents and visitors alike can appreciate the history and culture amid this small stretch of road in the upper NW corner of Massachusetts. The Berkshires are beautiful in any season and though it was hard to choose, here is our list of the top 10 things to do in The Berkshires and The Mohawk Trail on your day-trip, listed by town and day. Day 1 is centered around immersing yourself in New England Culture.. good food, art and shopping. The second day, is all about the New England landscape and days 3 & 4 focus on fine art in The Berkshires.
If you are looking for an authentic New England experience, then a visit to Spencer Peterman’s Boards and Bowls will do it. All of their artisan boards and bowls are made in a restored 18th century barn right on site. Consequently, when you arrive, the smell of drying wood, earth and sawdust drawn you in. Peterman’s bowls have been endorsed on Oprah’s “O” List for several years running and a perk of visiting their shop is a whole room full of “seconds” at a deep discount. You can also snag products that aren’t available online, for example, wooden spoons and linens. Open daily, 10am–5pm.
61 French King Hwy, Gill, MA
Shelburne Falls, MA
The best way to experience New England is at a good old fashioned, sugar house. Gould’s is one of the best. For this reason, people drive from all over The Berkshires to get a taste of a time gone past… maple sugar on snow… corn fritters with syrup… and 25-cent maple soft-serve ice cream. Gould’s farm has been family owned for over 100 years by six generations and is recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture as a “Century Farm.” Due to it’s popularity, we suggest arriving early, however, if there is a wait, it’s a great time to spend in their country store.
570 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
The Shelburne Falls Women’s Club of 1929 started a committee to ensure the bridge over the Deerfield River was always in bloom. Since that time it has been a spectacle to behold in spring and summer months. The bridge is open April through October and their website has a list of the many plant varieties you’ll find here and around The Berkshires.
Shelburne Falls has become a hub of unique boutique stores from pottery and clothing to fine art, books and quilts. We highly recommend both The Shelburne Arts Cooperative and The Salmon Falls Gallery. If you have time, Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave are host to many local artisan shops.
26 Bridge Street & 1 Ashfield St., Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Covered bridges are a quintessential part of New England history. The purpose of the covering the bridge was to protect the rest of the wooden structure from the elements. There are over 270 covered bridges in Massachusetts alone. The Bissell Covered Bridge is right off the Mohawk Trail and an easy stop if you are driving through The Berkshires. We suggest driving slowly through the narrow mountain roads as you approach. There is a small viewing turnoff that is a great place to take photos from.
North Heath Road, Charlemont, MA
credit (John Burke)
Berkshire East is a great place to immerse yourself in the outdoors. All season activities are available, for example white water rafting and zip-lining in the summer and skiing in the winter. We definitely recommend zip-lining; it’s pretty amazing to view The Berkshires from an eagle’s perspective. Rates are affordable, but definitely check for late night and weekday deals.
66 Thunder Mountain Rd, Charlemont, MA 01339
At the end of your adventurous day on The Mohawk Trail, the North Adams Hairpin Turn is a must see at sunset. This road was constructed in 1914, and has been one of the most popular destinations in The Berkshires since. From this vantage point at 1700 ft above sea level, parts of New York, Vermont and Massachusetts are visible. Adjacent to the turn sits The Golden Eagle Restaurant. This restaurant consequently has the best view and is a great way to relax with a beer or appetizer and while watching the sun go down over the valley.
1935 Mohawk Trail, Clarksburg, MA
Mass Moca is located towards the end of the Mohawk Trail and is worth it’s own day trip. The museum covers 250,000 sq ft of gallery space in a converted 19th century factory. Mass Moca has made a name for The Berkshires by focusing on large-scale immersive experiences that would be impossible to realize in conventionally sized museums. Since it is so big, there is something for everyone including children. The museum is open all year round, Wed-Mon 10am-5pm and also houses a cafe and local brewery.
87 Marshall Street, North Adams, MA
Natural Bridge State Park is one of the best demonstrations of glacial erosion The Berkshires and all of New England. In addition, visitors can tour an abandoned marble quarry, check out a man-made white marble dam/waterfall and see the only natural white marble arch in North America. There are tables and outdoor grill sites because it is a popular picnic venue on the Mohawk Trail. Visiting hours are 9am-4:30pm.
McAuley Rd, North Adams, MA
The Clarke Institute is a fine art museum specializing in French Impressionism and Old Masters. This museum is unique in its immersion of art in nature. For instance, park-goers often enjoy walking nature trails and viewing open air displays. As a result, this museum is a in the warmer months Open Tues–Sun (September–June) and daily (July–August) from 10am–5pm.
225 South Street, Williamstown, MA
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