Now with spring arriving and improved weather its time to spend time outdoors. Here’s a great place to enjoy nature emerging from a long winter’s rest. Pittsfield State Forest has a great scenic view from Berry Mountain vista especially at sunset.
The forests 11,000 acres have streams, waterfalls and flowering shrubs at 1,935’ elevation. Sixty-five acres of wild azalea fields burst into bloom annually in June. A nice swimming spot is at an earthen dam on Lulu Brook and the forest has two sites for picnicking. The forest’s Berry Pond is one of the highest natural bodies of water in Massachusetts at 2,150” elevation. Fishing and non-motorized boating is permitted at the pond.
Thirty-two campsites are available for tents at two locations. Camping season is mid-May to mid-October. Berry Pond campground has 13 rustic sites atop Berry Mountain. Parker Brook campground at the mountains base has 18 sites with flush toilets. Neither campground is equipped with showers.
The forest’s 30 miles trails winding throughout the forest are ideal for hiking, walking, horseback riding, mountain biking and winter cross country skiing. Tranquility Trail is a paved ¾ mile trail popular with wheelchair users enjoying the trails smooth surface. Off road vehicle use in the park requires a permit.
Trails encourage visitors to escape into the stillness of the forest following the mountains crest. Trail access to the 35-mile long Taconic Crest Trail is from several locations. The Taconic Mountain Range separates Massachusetts from New York State. In the forest’s northeast corner is Balance State Park with an interesting balanced 165-ton boulder.
Pittsfield State Forest is in western Massachusetts’s central Berkshires, just 5 ½ miles north west of Pittsfield. It is 24 miles south of North Adams MA, and 40 miles south east of Albany NY.
Open sunrise to 8:00 PM all year.
Park admittance requires a $2 parking fee per vehicle.
Since Pittsfield State Forest is in Black Bear country it is important to not leave food attracting bears. Keep a distance from bears since any contact could be dangerous.
Pittsfield MA is the states largest city with 44,737 inhabitants. It is at the intersection of route 20 and route 7, with US 90 10 miles south. In 2005 Farmers Insurance rated Pittsfield as the 20th ‘Most Secure Place to Live’ among towns under 150,000 population.
It began as an agricultural community with natural resources aiding its growth into an industrial center. This produced factory jobs attracting immigrants in the 19th and 20th century leading to diverse ethic communities throughout the area.
Pittsfield State Forest is a 263 mile drive of 4:15 hours from Rochester NY. Drive east on I-90 to Albany into Massachusetts exiting to route 7. Drive north past Pittsfield following signs to Pittsfield State Forest.
Here is what one visitor thought of Pittsfield State Forest.
“Gorgeous state park! Kind of a hike to drive to, secluded but very private and unbelievable surroundings.”