Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

#7 in Best Things To Do in The Berkshires
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary picture1 of 2
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary2 of 2
Courtesy of 1Berkshire

Key Info

472 W Mountain Rd


Hiking, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 4.5Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Located in the town of Lenox, this 1,211-acre wildlife sanctuary run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society features 7 miles of trails, a large pond, and striking views of forest, meadows, wetlands and wildlife. There are many well-marked walking trails to explore, which range in length and difficulty. The All Persons Trail fits its title as a mostly flat and 30- to 40-minute easy loop around Pike's Pond where hikers can often spot beavers. For the more adventurous, the Trail of the Ledges is a 3-mile loop that challenges visitors to hike a steep vertical to the top of Lenox Mountain, which reaches an elevation of 2,126 feet. The strenuous hike up is well worth the vistas of Mount Greylock, the Taconic Range and the Catskill Mountains. What's more, Pleasant Valley offers many different programs for people of all ages and abilities, including birding, canoeing, paddling and more.

Visitors say there are so many hiking loops to choose from that it would simply be impossible to do them all in one day. Luckily, the staff in the nature center can help groups decide which trails would suit them best and where they might find beavers along the way.

Pleasant Valley is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from June to October and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from November to May. Facilities on the premises include parking, a nature center, restrooms, a universally accessible trail and a picnic area. Admission to the reserve cost $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and $3 for children ages 2 to 12. For more information on different hiking loops and upcoming programs, check the website.

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Tanglewood1 of 14
Jacob's Pillow2 of 14
Time to Spend
#1 Tanglewood

The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, this open-air music venue attracts thousands of visitors who come to enjoy a variety of classical, contemporary, jazz and pop music performances every year. The Boston Symphony Orchestra has spent its summers at this grand estate located between the towns of Lenox and Stockbridge since 1937. Over this time, many renowned artists have also made appearances at the venue, including Yo-Yo Ma, Earth, Wind & Fire and Steely Dan. Tanglewood is most popular during the summer when the weather allows for sitting on the property's large lawn during performances. Still, the grounds also house multiple indoor facilities and restaurants, which enable visitors to enjoy programs, galas, events and cocerts year-round.

Reviewers call Tanglewood a "music lover's paradise," with charming scenery that keeps travelers returning year after year. Visitors appreciated the well-manicured grounds and world-class concerts, but recommend bringing your own lawn chairs, food and drinks to avoid the hefty prices of concession trucks, restaurants and stores on the property. Whether you bring your seating or rent from the facility, friendly staff can help you get situated, according to reviewers.

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