CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) The kids may be heading back to school next week but there’s still lots of fun end-of-summer activities they can do before then! Josh Knox, Superintendent, CT. River Management Unit of the Trustees of Reservations told us about some exciting ideas.
Float your Boat:
We may not be near the beach, but there are still several places in central and western Mass where you can still get your feet wet or get out on the water. Besides being beautiful, Tully Lake Campground in Royalston, MA is really a center for all things aquatic. Bring you own kayak or canoe, or rent one of ours. We offer both fishing clinics on the lake and evening beaver-watching tours on Saturdays, and have stand-up paddle board lessons every Sunday until the end of September.
If you want to go west, we have an absolutely superb naturalist on staff, Rene Wendell, who leads canoe trips down the beautiful Housatonic River from our Bartholomew’s Cobble Reservation in Sheffield on Sundays, where you can watch for bald eagles and learn about the area’s history and ecology. We’ve added an extra trip for Labor Day weekend, so you can chose to join us either Sunday or Monday. We ask that you let us know you’re coming by pre-registering.
Take a Hike:
If the water isn’t your thing, there’s no shortage of adventures left pursue on land. Most of our reservations have hiking trails, so you’re sure to find one to suit your interests or abilities.
One great place to explore is the Rivulet Trail at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington. Bryant was a renowned American poet and editor of The Saturday Evening Post. The Homestead was Bryant’s boyhood home, which he moved back to during summers in his later years. The trail itself follows a small stream that inspired perhaps Bryant’s best poem, The Rivulet. It’s an idyllic walk that also leads past some impressive and massive old-growth trees.
Afterward, you can pick up lunch at the always delightful Old Creamery at the bottom of the hill (Routes 9 & 112).
Another great opportunity to take advantage of the warm, late summer nights is our upcoming Full Moon Hike at Peaked Mountain in nearby Monson. It will be an easy, family-friendly trek around Lunden Pond, through the Miller Forest Track, under the full moon. The hike will be approximately 2-3 miles in length, and last about 1.5 hours.
See a Concert:
The Trustees have been offering a series of outdoor concerts this summer, and one of the remaining shows is taking place at one of our most unique locations in the Berkshires-Ashintully Gardens in Tyringham. On August 24th, Dan Kennedy will be performing an intimate solo piano concert in the Barn Studio of noted composer John McLennan-which is on the grounds of reservation. We’ve even arranged to have locally-sourced ,picnic dinners available for guests that evening from Meadow Farm Market in Lee, MA. Orders must be placed by with the Market by Saturday, August 23rd at noon.
Ashintully Gardens is the 30-year creation of McLennan, who blended the haunting ruins of the Marble Palace estate with several formal and informal garden and landscape features. His designs earned the Hunnewell Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society-and the combination is haunting and stunningly beautiful-truly a hidden treasure in the Berkshires.
Take a Class:
With summer coming to a close, school is sure to be on people’s minds, but why wait to learn something new, or hone your skills for something you’re already passionate about-especially when it’s in a remarkably scenic location?
On Sunday, September 14th, we’re offering our NatureSnap photography workshop with local artist and historian Bernie Kubiak at our Field Farm Reservation in Williamstown. There really couldn’t be a better place for it. Field Farm is situated on 350 acres of fields, woodlands and gardens, with breathtaking views from the base of Mt Greylock.
It’s also the location of the Guest House at Field Farm. So anyone who wants to spends a couple days away from it all can reserve a room in a truly unique small inn–designed and furnished in the mid-century modern style of the “Mad Men” era-which some have described as staying in a museum of modern furniture. There are often special lodging deals and options at various times of the year, so keep an eye out.
More About The Trustees of Reservations: The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of irreplaceable scenic, cultural, and natural significance for the general public to enjoy. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees is the world’s oldest land trust and one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation non profits. Supported by more than 100,000 members and donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 112 spectacular reservations including working farms, historic homesteads and landscaped gardens, community parks, barrier beaches, mountain vistas and woodland trials located on more than 26,000 acres throughout the Commonwealth. An established leader in the conservation and preservation movement and worldwide, The Trustees have also worked with community partners to protect an additional 34,000 acres. With hundreds of outreach programs, workshops, camps, concerts and events annually designed to engage all ages in its mission, The Trustees invite you to Find Your Place and get out and experience the natural beauty and culture our state has to offer. For more information, visit: http://www.thetrustees.org.