Category: Berkshires

Berkshires to Boston, September 12-16, 2018

The Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour introduces riders to the best of Massachusetts cycling – lots of peaceful roads, good pavement and magnificent scenery and some fun, urban riding on bike paths, bike lanes and community streets. Riders on the 2014 tour gave high marks to the Berkshires to Boston Tour route, and the 2018 tour is almost identical. Visit the Berkshires to Boston website for the updated routes for 2018.

2014 routes

Warm-up ride

A pre-tour ascent of Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak. We’ll head out from Hancock Shaker Village in the late morning on Wednesday for the thirteen mile ride to the base of Rockwell Rd, part of the scenic byway that climbs to the summit. The next eight miles climb over 2,200 feet along the parkway through the State Reservation managed by MassParks, the Commonwealth’s state parks agency. We’ll follow Rockwell Road back to the base the mountain and retrace our route back to Hancock Shaker Village for a total ride of about 45 miles.

Berkshires to Pioneer Valley

The first day covers 59 miles between the New York border at Hancock, MA and Sunderland, MA in the Connecticut River Valley. Along the way, riders will pass through Pittsfield, the Berkshire’s largest city, ride the Ashuwilticook Rail Trail and climb 1,000 feet to the top of the Hoosac Range. Overall, the day includes 3,589 feet of climbing; but, riders are rewarded with over 4,600 feet of descent as they drop into the flat Valley farmlands. See this route at Ride with GPS at Berkshires to Boston Day One

Pioneer Valley to Devens MA

Today is the longest day of the tour – 79 miles as we climb out of the Valley and ride through the Central Highlands to Devens, MA. The day begins with flat riding through the fertile farmlands along the Connecticut River before riders begin a gradual 11-mile climb up to the town of Wendell, 1,000 feet higher than our Sunderland starting point. The next 40 miles feature quaint New England towns like Petersham and Princeton and a rolling route through the heart of Massachusetts. The final 20 miles are nearly all downhill or flat as riders drop over 1,000 feet to Devens. See this route at Ride with GPS at Berkshires to Boston Day Two

Devens to Boston

Today is the shortest and easiest day of the tour – only 50 miles and a net loss of 200 feet in elevation as we travel into Boston. The route passes by the Minuteman National Historical Park and passes through the historic towns of Lexington and Cambridge. The route also takes advantage of the popular Minuteman Bike Path to get into the City. The short day is designed to let riders savor the rich history and scenic landscapes of this beautiful area of the state. See this route at Berkshires to Boston Day Three

Pain in the Mass, Amherst MA August 11, 2018

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THE PAIN in the MASS TOUR  was designed to help support The Tyler Foundation and the families affected by epilepsy.

100 miles with 6,337 ft of climbing highlighted by an 11 mile Cat. 2 climb at the midway point of the ride.

125 miles with 7,625 ft of climbing. This is not designed for the casual cyclist. Riders must be properly prepared for this challenge.

150 miles: Due to the rigors of this course, eligibility to participate shall be determined by riders who have completed the route.

Hoosic River Ride, August, 2018

The Hoosic River Ride is a one-day event that benefits the education, research and advocacy programs of the non-profit Hoosic River Watershed Association.

Start locations

  • For 2016, the rides begin at the Hoosac School on Pine Valley Road (Route 103) in Hoosick  NY.
  • Previous year rides (shown below) started at the Southern Vermont College Rec Center in Bennington, VT

Continue reading “Hoosic River Ride, August, 2018”

South Berkshire tour from Great Barrington, MA

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This weekend tour of the popular Berkshires in western Massachusetts takes you into neighboring Connecticut and New York State. All routes begin from the Windflower Inn near the Great Barrington / South Egremont town line.  Daily Ride options are 30-45 miles, with a nice mixture of a few flat roads, rolling hills and some long steady climbs, designed for upper intermediate to advanced cyclists. We recommend dinner at the Old Mill Restaurant in nearby South Egremont. While in the area, see what’s happening at the Mahaiwe Theater Performing Arts Center in downtown Great Barrington.
Download the nsc waiver (non-member participants)
A choice of routes are provided below:

Friday afternoon

A choice of an easier ride to Sheffield or a couple of steeper ride options to North Egremont and Alford

Easy ride: South Egremont-Sheffield 

Distance: 18.1 mi. Elevation: + 594 ft with a short section of unpaved road)

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Route at RideWithGPS
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27 mile North Egremont and Alford ride

Distance: 26.6 mi. Elevation: 1686 ft

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17 mile North Egremont and Alford ride

Distance: 17 mi. Elevation: + 1014 ft. (eliminates Mount Washington climb)

This ride begins at the Windflower Inn. We head west to the foot of the Taconic mountains and then take back roads to North Egremont. From there, Rt. 71 to the New York state line is a straight and scenic a roadway with views of the mountains the entire way. We circle north through Alford before looping back through Alford to the inn.

View/Print  17 mile PDF map and cue sheet

Route at RideWithGPS
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Saturday

Mill River (medium route)

Distance: 34 mi, Total elevation: + 1240 ft.

This classic Berkshire ride starts out with some easy cycling along the flat flood plain of the Housatonic River through Sheffield farmland to Mill River, with an optional gravel side route to Umpachenee Falls. The return includes an exhilarating downhill ride back to the Housatonic River before returning to Sheffield, where you may want to stop by the oldest covered bridge in Massachusetts.

MILL RIVER PDF CUE SHEET

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Twin Lakes and Mill River (long route)

Distance: 57.1 mi Elevation: 2380 ft

TWIN LAKES MILL RIVER PDF CUE SHEET

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Sunday

Alford, West Stockbridge and Stockbridge

Distance: 37 mi. Elevation: + 2100  ft (medium route)
Ride north along the edge of the Taconic Mountains and through tiny Alford to West Stockbridge, where you can visit Baldwin’s General Store and Hoffman Pottery. The ride continues on to Stockbridge, MA, home of Norman Rockwell Museum. and Chester wood, the studio of Lincoln Monument sculptor Daniel Chester French. The return is along the rapids of the Housatonic River to Great Barrington and back to the inn.

ALFORD-W. STOCKBRIDGE-STOCKBRIDGE PDF CUE SHEET

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Alford, West Stockbridge, Richmond and Stockbridge (long version)

Distance: 47.4 mi. Elevation: + 2661 ft

ALFORD-RICHMOND-STOCKBRIDGE PDF CUE SHEET

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Other rides

Monterey and Tyringham

Distance: 39.8 mi. Elevation: + 2040 ft

This scenic 40 mile ride goes through downtown Great Barrington Massachusetts and heads out of town up “Three Mile Hill. We circle around Lake Buel, then top to check out the Berkshire Fish Hatchery in Hartsville. Continue on to Monterey, MA, and stop for refreshments at the Monterey General Store. The ride continues past Lake Garfield with a sweeping descent into the Tyringham Valley. Make sure to stop to view the Gingerbread House in Tyringham just before taking a left to South Lee.
After turning left on Rt. 102, you’ll see an impressive dam and spillway on the left, part of a still-operating paper mill. Continue on to popular Stockbridge, whose attractions include the Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Botanical Garden, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and Chesterwood, home of Lincoln Monument sculptor Daniel Chester French. The return from Stockbridge follows the flowing rapids of the Housatonic River back to Great Barrington.

Tyringham Ride PDF cue sheet

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Mount Washington, Bash Bish Falls, Copake NY

Distance: 40 mi,  Max Grade: 10.0 %, Elevation: 3400 ft

This is one of the most challenging rides in the Berkshires, with an ascent of several miles from South Egremont, riding past Mount Everett, the second highest mountain in the state to the end of the road in tiny hamlet of Mount Washington. Here we take an amazing descent down the winding paved road past Bash Bish Falls to the community of Copake Falls, NY. Ride on the paved Harlem Valley Rail Trail before cycling for several miles through New York State farm country. The ride crosses a pass in the Taconic Mountains for the return to South Egremont.This ride is approximately 40 miles. View at RideWithGPS

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Mount Washington-Bash Bish  ride at RideWithGPS
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Mount Washington,  North Egremont, Alford 41 miles

Distance: 41.1 mi Elevation: + 3174 ft

 We head west to the foot of the Taconic mountains, then reverse course, with two distance options in North Egremont and Alford.

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41 mile route at RideWithGPS
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Mt. Washington- N. Egremont-Alford 31 miles

Distance: 31.5 mi Elevation: + 2507 ft

31 mile Washington-North Egremont cue sheet PDF

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Photos of the 2016 NSC Berkshire tour by Jim Pearl

Hazon ride, Falls Village, CT

The Hazon Ride & Retreat is a fully-supported ride, fundraiser, and community experience for people of all cycling levels and ages. Spanning Labor Day Weekend and based at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

HAZON RIDE – DAY 1 2014


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Great Barrington to Umpachenee Falls

b9bc3-umpachenee1Hidden away near tiny Mill River, Massachusetts is a local gem, a rolling waterfall that starts as rapids about a half mile uphill and opens up to a scenic array of water plunging over rock ledges. This small town park makes a great half day cycling destination from Great Barrington, the largest community in the southern Berkshires. This ride starts from the Windflower Inn on Rt. 23, near the South Egremont town line.

Ride a half mile west on Rt. 23 and take the Egremont – Sheffield Road to Rt. 7 in Sheffield, near the oldest covered bridge in Massachusetts. Turn left downtown on County Road. Just after crossing the Housatonic River, take a right on Hewins St. and ride for three miles through farm country. Turn left just after the sod farm on Polikoff Road, and for a couple of miles you’ll be just into Connecticut. After crossing two roads named Clayton Road , turn left on Sodom Road and continue through the four way intersection otherwise known as Clayton. You’ll take a couple of left turns ahead to stay on Clayton-Mill River Road, and at mile 17 on your ride you’ll turn right on a gravel road over the river you’ve been following. Just after the wooden bridge, turn right into the park.

Continue to Mill River after exiting the park, where you’ll want to stop at the historic Mill River General Store. A fairly strenuous climb takes you to a left on County Road, followed by a long and exhilarating descent back to the Housatonic River. Turn right here on Holmes Road and take it to Great Barrington, then follow Rt. 23 back to the Windflower Inn. The ride is 34 miles with a nice mix of flat terrain and 1200′ of climbing.


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Great Barrington MA -Philmont NY: Tour of Massachusetts

Great Barrington  MA to Philmont, NY loops are provided by the Massachusetts State Bike Tour 2016.

60 mile ride

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