During your time at our Berkshires bed and breakfast this summer, you’ll find a wealth of outdoor activities to participate in. And you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the temperate weather and gorgeous scenery. Guests of the Gateways Inn often find themselves drawn to October Mountain State Forest. Located just minutes away from Lenox in Lee, MA, October Mountain State Forest is the ideal location for those who wish to hike, mountain bike or ride on an off-road vehicle. We’ve come up with a few October Mountain State Forest adventures you can go on during your time in the Berkshires.
October Mountain State Forest is the largest state forest in Massachusetts at 16,500 acres. The area is alleged to have gotten the name “October Mountain” from writer Herman Mellville, whose home, Arrowhead, overlooks some of the forests scenic hills, and is a 5 minute drive from the Gateways. October Mountain State Forest is fabulous in warmer months, but guests also enjoy cross country skiing in the winter months, making it a popular destination throughout the year.
There are a wealth of trails within October Mountain State Forest that provide hikes and walks for guests of all abilities. http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/parks/trails/octmtrailmiles.pdf One popular trail is a scenic hike that takes visitors through Schermerhorn Gorge. Schermerhorn Gorge is home to a waterfall that is a total of 30 feet tall and draws visitors who are looking for a picturesque view and a golden photo opportunity. Another good trail to check out is Washington Mountain Marsh Interpretive Trail that takes you through prominent features of the landscape and the area’s geological landscape. A portion of the Appalachian Trail also crosses into the land of October Mountain State Forest.
If you bring a bike or rent one, October Mountain State Forest is a good destination for mountain bikers. Multi-use trails throughout the park offer varying degrees of difficulty and the lengths range from less than half a mile to just over two and a half miles. Some trails are loops.
Non-motorized boats are allowed in the waters of October Mountain State Forest. Boat rentals are available at several locations in the area. Fishing and hunting is also permitted in season, in specified hunting areas with the proper license.
October Mountain State Forest has ATV trails totaling 27 miles. The trails wind throughout the park. With the proper permit, riders are allowed to use off-road vehicles on specified trails during daylight hours. Permits are free, but a limited number are granted each day, so plan ahead if you plan to off-road at October Mountain State Forest.
When planning your October Mountain State Forest adventures, don’t forget to book your stay at our local Lenox bed and breakfast. Just minutes away from the forest, the Gateways Inn provides luxurious accommodations as well as fine dining and entertainment in our Restaurant and Lounge. Pick one of our comfortably elegant guest rooms and experience the best of the Berkshires, or just come to relax in our lounge after a long day of outdoor activity. We’re looking forward to seeing you very soon!
Photo courtesy PublicDomainPictures.