Tad Ames, president of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (www.bnrc.net), offers three personal outdoor favorites in the region:
- Active families seeking a unique challenge, should run, not walk, to the Ramblewild (www.ramblewild.com) aerial adventure park in Lanesborough. This mother of all ropes courses weaves a varied path under the canopy of a 900-acre forest reserve on the flanks of Brodie Mountain. This is not your garden-variety zip line, it’s a wholly natural, wildly creative forest “immersion” experience, featuring suspension bridges over ravines, aerial kayaks, and a diversity of elements and courses that will challenge everyone from beginner to expert.
- Who imagined that yoga could be an outdoor activity? The folks at Kripalu Yoga Center (www.kripalu.org), for one. This highly regarded yoga retreat and restoration center in Lenox occupies a magnificent hillside site nestled into the folds of Yokun Ridge, where the Berkshire Natural Resources Council maintains one of the Berkshires’ most popular hiking areas. Kripalu and its guests make full use of the amenity, with a variety of customizable activities combining outdoor activity along ridge trails with spiritual restoration at especially energized spots in this mature, stream-laced forest. Plus, the food is excellent.
- Berkshirites know that there’s really only one place to go for winter recreation, Notchview Reservation (www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/notchview.html), a 3,000 acre high-elevation wonderland owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations. The snow is reliable, the 25 miles of ski trails are well-groomed, and the rush of gliding down a sun-dazzled field with the world in front of you can’t be beat. Plus, Notchview offers homey café service, equipment rentals, snowshoe trails, guided programs and lessons.