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RI Archives: Rural Road Trips

View past Excursions articles.

View all past Rural Road Trip articles.

Eastover Estate and Retreat

Travel Resources

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

Amtrak 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.

[See more Excursion articles]

Williamstown’s Clark Hosts a Summer Fete

Rural Intelligence: Rural Road Trips: Excursions Image

Photograph by Kevin Sprague

Even if just for the two enticingly-titled shows opening there, Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly and Homer and Sargent from the Clark, it would be worth the drive to Williamstown.  But this Sunday, there’s so much added incentive to visit the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, commonly known as The Clark, it’s irresisitable: At high noon, there will be a ribbon cutting on their new Stone Hill Center, a 32,000-square-foot art conservation facility with gallery spaces designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando.  To celebrate, there will be day-long festivities, including guided tours of the new building, a lecture on the new exhibitions at the museum, live music, self-guided hikes through the trails on the Clark’s 140-acre campus, and special picnic fare.  So bring the kids, bring grumpy old Dad-who-never-wants-to-do-anything, bring a picnic blanket, and make a day of it.  On this special community day, admission is free (that should cheer up the old boy).

The Stone Hill Center is the dramatic result of the first phase of the Clark’s ambitious expansion plan. With a commanding site on the wooded slope of Stone Hill, the Center features two intimate galleries for special exhibitions and a new, state-of-the-art facility for the Williamstown Art Conservation Center.  Tadao Ando’s work is known for its creative use of natural light and for the way his buildings follow the natural forms of a landscape in a minimally disruptive way.  The paths leading to and from the entrances to an Ando building can be as significant as the passageways within it, and those he’s created at the Stone Hill Center merit exploration.

As do the Clark campus’s long-established hiking trails .  The Pasture Loop and the longer Stone Bench Loop, meander through woodland and meadow.  The trails will open at 11 a.m. and maps to aid self-guided hikes are available.  Both loops offer wonderful views of Williamstown and the surrounding mountains.

Rural Intelligence Road Trips
Family-friendly barbeque fare will be available for purchase throughout the day at Stone Hill Center cafe and at the picnic tent near the south lawn.  From the umbrella-shaded tables on the Center’s terrace, there are fantastic views of the Green Mountains and Taconic Range. The Clark’s campus is dotted with picnic tables and inviting spaces to spread out picnic blankets.  There will be music—Odaiko New England (ONE), a group that weaves elements of taiko (traditional Japanese ensemble drumming) with contemporary influences. 

A day as option-packed as this one can create a quandary—what to do first?  In fact, there are only three or four activities, tops, that are scheduled: 11 is the earliest opportunity to sign-up for the limited-capacity 20-minutes guided tours of the new center. (The first tour is at 12:30)  The ribbon cutting is at noon.  And the free lecture by Clark curators Marc Simpson and Cody Hartley, who are responsible for the new exhibitions (detail of Summer, c.1850, by Thomas Wilmer Dewing, above), is at 3.  Other than that, it’s up to you.
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South Street; Williamstown; 413.458.2303.
Sunday, June 22; 11 - 5
Admission: Free
Before July 1 & after August 31: Tuesday - Sunday, 10 - 5
July & August, daily 10 - 5
Admission June 1 - October 31:  $12.50/adults; Free/members, 18 & younger, & students
Admission November 1 - May 31: Free



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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 06/17/08 at 01:12 AM • Permalink