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The natural beauty that dazzles us on a crisp, blue-sky autumn afternoon is the very same beauty that enticed settlers to the area to homestead, to start farms, and build communities.

There is no better way to immerse oneself in the glorious autumn foliage of the Berkshires than a road trip. An afternoon spent traversing the scenic byways of the Berkshires, reveling in the bright displays of leafy color, can easily segue into apple picking or a shopping spree in one of our vibrant communities, where the past is valued and the future is embraced.

Awe-inspiring Color

In the Berkshires, there are several routes that are especially dramatic and well worth the trip. Start on the  Mohawk Trail  along Route 2 near  Clarksburg , a route that includes the famous Hairpin Turn and magnificent view of extraordinarily vibrant foliage. Drive through  Williamstown  (a quintessential New England college town, with historic brick buildings and classic white churches) and turn south on Route 7 for views of farms and orchards nestled along a picturesque valley. Cloud formations cast moving shadows on the soft hills that rise to the right and left of the road, and there are several places to pull over, stop the car, and drink in the quiet beauty.

Choose to motor south on Route 8, from  North Adams  to  Mount Greylock , at 3,491 feet, the highest peak in Massachusetts. From Lanesborough, take the winding road to the top of Greylock for a spectacular display of foliage, golden yellow to blazing orange to vivid scarlet.  Bascom Lodge  offers delicious family-style dining and comfortable lodging in the rustic structure at Greylock’s peak, and there are options for hikes (including a section of the Georgia-to-Maine  Appalachian Trail ) and walks as well through the end of October.

Continuing south and west, Route 41 winds through Richmond and  West Stockbridge , past open fields and pastures, wooded lots and family farms. Or choose Route 183 between  Lenox  and  Stockbridge , meandering between stately trees shading the road, and then coming around a bend to a spectacular view of the Stockbridge Bowl, also called Lake Mahkeenac.

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