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RI Archives: Rural Road Trips

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Berkshire Property Agents

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Travel Essentials

Amtrak Empire Service between Albany, Hudson or Rhinecliff, NY and Penn Station, NYC.

Amtrak 449 Lake Shore Limited between Pittsfield and South Station, Boston.

Bard Bus and Shuttle  On select summer weekends, Bard offers round-trip bus service from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center directly to the Fisher Center, exclusively for performance ticket holders: $30 round-trip. Reservations are required. Box dinners can be ordered in advance for $10. Bard also offers shuttle service from and to the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station for select performances: $10 each way.

Mega-bus between Albany and Ridgewood, N.J. and Penn Station, NYC.

Metro-North Railroad between Wassaic, Dover Plains, or Poughkeepsie, NY and Harlem (125th Street)  or Grand Central Station, NYC.

Peter Pan Bus Lines  Boston/Albany route serving Albany, Great Barrington, *Lee, Lenox, *Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Williamstown, and Boston South Station and Boston Logan Airport  (*greater frequency, better fares). NYC/Williamstown route serving Williamstown, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, MA, or Canaan, CT and Port Authority Bus Terminal, NYC.

Roosevelt Ride Free Shuttle  Free round-trip shuttle service daily (summer through October) from the Poughkeepsie train station to Hyde Park, Val-Kil, the Vanderbilt Mansion, Top Cottage, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum so Metro-North train passengers can tour historic sites without a car. For reservations and tour info, call the Wallace Visitor Center: 845-229-5320.

Weather Underground
The radar is especially useful for tracking snow, sleet and thunderstorms.

Gas Prices
The price of gas at many of the stations in your zip code and those immediately surrounding it.

[See more Excursion articles]

Let It Snow! 15 Spots for Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing

Rural Intelligence Road Trips
Whether cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, or merely sledding, now is the time and this is the place.  Guardians of some of the region’s largest, most scenic properties—from country clubs to art parks to historic estates to resorts like Cranwell (left) in Lenox—are throwing open their gates and welcoming snow-sports enthusiasts. Always call first or check websites to make sure snow and weather conditions are favorable.
 
 
Berkshire County

Canterbury Farm Ski Area
1986 Fred Snow Road, Becket; 413.623.0100
Open every day, Canterbury Farm is a mini winter resort with 22 kilometers of groomed trails in an idyllic setting. You can rent skis, snowshoes and skates, and lessons are available as well.

Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Course
55 Lee Road, Lenox; 413.637.1364
You don’t have to be an overnight guest to enjoy the pleasures of this landmark resort hotel. You can rent skates and state-of-the-art skis to explore the ten kilometers of groomed trails.

Rural Intelligence Road TripsHilltop Orchards
508 Canaan Rd / Rt 295, Richmond; 800.833.6274
What could be more picturesque than skiing on a groomed trail through an apple orchard with mountain views? Perhaps a moonlight snowshoe trek and bonfire on Saturday, February 23. The guided tour leaves promptly at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting.  Afterwards, warm up by the bonfire or inside by the fireplace. Wine will be for sale at the orchard that is also home to Furnace Brook Winery. $10 a person (snowshoe rentals available on-site for an additional fee.) Reservations: 800.833.6274

Kennedy Park & The Arcadian Shop
91 Pittsfield Road, Lenox; 413.637.3010
Do you ever wonder why the parking lot at this wonderful outdoor gear shop is always so crowded when the snow is deep? With direct access to the trails of Kennedy Park and ski rentals ($20 a day), this is an easy way to explore nature in the heart of Berkshire County.

Notchview
Route 9, Windsor;  413.684.0148
If you’ve never before visited Notchview, it’s always a good time. Open daily, the Budd Visitor Center features a masonry heater, a perfect place to take a break with hot drinks and food. This Saturday, February 16 is a free snowshoe clinic, a great opportunity for those new to the sport.

Columbia County

Art Omi
1405 County Route 22, Ghent; 518.392.4740.
If there’s snow, there’s skiing.  Art Omi has 2.5 miles of groomed cross-country and skate-skiing trails open ‘round-the-clock for those who like to ski in moonlight or with headlamps. No need to reserve.  On weekends from noon to 4 p.m., the café in the visitors’ center is open with warming refreshments.
 
Rural Intelligence Road TripsClermont State Historic Site
One Clermont Avenue, Germantown; 518.537.4240
You can always ski for free at this magnificent property. Families can spend the afternoon skiing and sledding while taking in magnificent Hudson River and Catskill Mountain views.

 
Copake Country Club
44 Golf Course Road, Copake Lake; 518.325.4338
Copake Country Club, a public course, has Alpina cross country ski packages (skis, boots, poles, bindings) available to rent at their pro shop. Trails of various lengths are groomed. It’s $25 to rent equipment and $10 if you bring your own equipment. Confirm that they are open on the club calendar. If no one’s in the pro shop and you want to rent skis, don’t despair; go to the restaurant and someone there should be able to help you out.
 
Olana State Historic Site
5720 Route 9G, Hudson; 518.828.0135
Besides offering timeless, painterly views while you ski on the 250 acre property from 8 a.m. to sunset daily, Olana has a guided snoeshoe walk Saturday, February 23 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Hot chocolate will be provided, please register.
 
Dutchess County

Burger Hill and Poets’ Walk Park
Rhinebeck; 845.473.4440
These two properties protected by Scenic Hudson offer wide opens spaces with spectacular vistas for skiiing or snowshoeing.
 
Rural Intelligence Road TripsThe Harlem Valley Rail Trail
Route 44, Millerton; 518.789.9591
While you can hop on the Rail Trail in several spots, downtown Millerton is choice because you can warm up after skiing at the Harney Tea Room, Oakhurst Diner, or the family-friendly Taro’s pizzeria.
 
Staatsburgh State Historic Site and Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park
Old Post Road, Staatsburgh; 845,889.8851
Great estates such as the Mills Mansion set on 192 acres in the heart of the Hudson Valley are one of the reasons New York is known as the Empire State. You can cross country ski there daily in the shadows of the Catskill Mountains and at the adjacent Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park.
 
Litchfield County

American Legion and People’s State Forest
East River Road, Barkhamsted; 860.424.3200
There are several tranquil trails here, but be prepared to see snowmobilers in this park, too.
 
Great Mountain Forest Skiers must sign in and sign out at one of the visitor registers located at the gated entrances in Norfolk (Windrow Road) or Canaan (Canaan Mountain Road).
201 Windrow Road, Norfolk; 860.542.5422
 
Topsmead State Forest
Buell Road, Litchfield; 860.424.3200
Like so many of our cherished state parks, Topsmead was once a private estate, the summer home of Miss Edith Morton Chase, which becomes a winter wonderland when covered in snow.
 
White Memorial Conservation Center
80 Whitehall Road, Litchfield; 860.567.0857
With more than 35 miles of hiking trails on 4,000 acres, White Memorial—former home of Alain White and his sister, May, that has been a not-for-profit educational center since 1964—has many pathways for skiing and snowshoeing.

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 01/19/11 at 02:16 AM • Permalink