Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Berkshires: Natural Bridge and Mount Greylock, Western Massachusetts

Berkshire county is a popular vacation spot for the urbanites of Boston and New York, with theatre, dance, music, and locally inspired dining in picturesque New England small towns. But the big city people often stay in south county, missing out both on the cultural attractions and natural wonders of north county.

Natural Bridge is a place I grew up on: we picnicked there as a family, did school trips there, stopped by when at a loss for something constructive to do during school breaks. 

Stone formations, a marble dam, wildlife and plants and the only naturally formed white marble arch in North America, Natural Bridge State Park offers a lot in a relatively small area.

The marble dam...

...along the way to the bridge and other sights, we discovered a ladyslipper on the last visit.

We had an expert verify that this was, in fact, a ladyslipper (e.g. my sister in law).

We peered into the bridge up close and at a bit of a distance...(the feet are naturally formed too).

Spotted the dog head or (camel head, depending on who you ask)

And continued on like good little adventurers through the greenery.

The foundation of an old mill hints to the importance of water power in these parts and provides a lovely footing for a fern awning.

Part deux of our natural tour focused on Mount Greylock the highest peak in the state of Massachusetts at 3,491 feet.

The climb rewarded us with a very auspicious sighting of a porcupine by the roadside. 

Mr. or Ms. Porcupine was not bothered.

The other reward was the view from the summit. I've probably seen in nearly a hundred times over the years but it still impresses. On a clear day you can see into a few other states.

If you're lucky enough to catch the sun on a clear day, you're lucky enough.

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