This Trail May Be the Best Way to See New England’s Fall Colors

Berkshires in Massachusetts, New England draw millions of nature lovers each fall when the scenic allure of the area reaches its peak. With the fall foliage of hardwood forests turning amber and gold, Berkshires has long been an indisputable destination for meditative walks. Now, a new route across the region’s spine is going to transform this into a hiking trail, like an American spin on the popular European-style walking holiday. Named the High Road, this hiking trail is going to connect travelers to the leafy towns of Massachusetts for nature therapy, with stops at cozy inns full of creature comforts.

The High Road Project

Once completed, the High Road hiking trail will offer travelers direct access to conservation lands and wildlife preserves. This New England town-to-trails pathway will also include charming mountain towns like Lenox and Great Barrington. Unlike traditional hikes, which usually require putting up tents and carrying heavy backpacks, the travelers on this trail would be able to refuel at local eateries and enjoy cozy comforts at night in local inns and B&Bs.

The Goal

According to Deanna Oliveri, the project manager with BNRC, or Berkshires Natural Resources Council, this High Road project possesses two main ideas – showcasing nature like the European interconnected walking tours, and more access to the pristine conservation lands of the region. Oliveri explained that this New England trail focuses on rekindling the ancient tradition of pilgrimage routes, adding a more modern goal of improving public access to the outdoors.

The Lenox-Pittsfield Trail

The new route of High Road will contain seven or eight 10-mile pathway segments, running from north to south through the mountains and their resident communities. Currently, only one segment is open for travelers with two trailheads. One of them is at the Kripalu Yoga Center campus in Lenox and the other is at the Bousquet Mountain Ski Resort in Pittsfield. The central attraction of this section is the Yokun Ridge, a hulking foundation of conjoined mountain peaks, thick with a scenic and diverse array of boreal and deciduous forests.

The Allures

Along the route, Lenox Mountain is the highest point, offering panoramic views of idyllic farms, natural ponds, and the neighboring Taconic Range of New York. The Mahanna Cobble viewpoint overlooks the Bousquet Mountain trailhead revealing pristine expansive woodlands. Mount Greylock, the tallest mountain in this New England region, offers a stunning view of the region’s iconic fall colors. At both ends of the route, Lenox and Pittsfield towns welcome hikers with cozy comfort and decadent delicacies in their Queen Ann cottages and flowering patios.