Free Things To Do in The Berkshires
- #3View all Photos#3 in The BerkshiresHiking, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDHiking, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Follow in the footsteps of literary legends Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Oliver Wendell Holmes with a hike up Monument Mountain. Calling the town of Great Barrington home, Monument Mountain brims with history and striking views that overlook the Housatonic River Valley and Mount Greylock. Come prepared with your walking shoes and water – it takes some endurance to tackle the 720-foot elevation gain on the way up to Monument Mountain's 1,642-foot Squaw Peak.
Outdoor enthusiasts who visit the Berkshires will appreciate the mountain's various trails, which range in difficulty. If you're looking for a leisurely climb up, take the Indian Monument Trail – a 1 1/2-mile path that climbs the west face of the mountain. For the most direct route, take the Hickory Trail, which measures less than a mile, but is considered the most strenuous. As you make your ascent, heed the advice of recent visitors and take in these views with a mid-hike picnic.
- #9View all Photos#9 in The BerkshiresHiking, Museums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDHiking, Museums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Restored by the Berkshire County Historical Society, the home of "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale" author Herman Melville is open to visitors interested in learning more about the literary legend. Located in the historic town of Pittsfield, the house was inhabited by Melville from 1850 to 1863. Along with the home, visitors can tour the barn and surrounding grounds, which feature a farm and nature trail.
Even some of Melville's biggest fans said they were surprised at the amount of new information they learned during their tours. Recent visitors appreciated the interesting stories shared by the site's knowledgeable tour guides, as well as the gift shop, which sells a variety of books about and written by Melville.
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