Foliage drives are the perfect way to enjoy all the splendor of a New England fall, welcoming the kaleidoscope of color into your vehicle, as you marvel at the fleeting beauty that surrounds you.
Here is one of our favorite fall drives in Massachusetts at Mount Greylock.
Mount Greylock — You don’t have to travel too far to get a mountaintop view of the foliage. This 27-mile trip will take motorists from Lee to North Adams and the summit of Mount Greylock, located in the northwest corner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Situated just south of the Vermont border, Greylock is one of the state’s most-popular destinations come fall, During peak foliage weekends, traffic can be at a standstill along Rockwell (accessible via Route 7) and Notch (accessible via Route 2) Roads, and visitors can likely expect parking delays at the summit. The lookout is a glorious one though, capturing the season in the Berkshires, southern Vermont, and beyond on a clear day.
Points of interest: If the views outside aren’t artsy enough for you, stop by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, massmoca.org) for some of the liveliest and innovative art in the area. Those looking for a little more activity, but not too much should check out the Cascades Trail (22 Brickyard Court, North Adams), a short river walk along the Notch Brook in North Adams leading to a spectacular, cascading waterfall. The trail is only minutes away from the downtown areas of both North Adams and Williamstown.
Stay: Since you’re at the summit anyway, why not spend a night on Mount Greylock? The Bascom Lodge (3 Summit Road, Adams, $45-$175 per night, bascomlodge.net) offers rustic accommodations in a mountain lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps at the height of the Great Depression. This year, the lodge celebrates its 85th anniversary providing simple facilities for its guests. No TV, but WiFi is provided. If you’re looking to add a bit more luxury to your stay, check out the Porches Inn (231 River St., North Adams, $197-$589, porches.com). Located across the street from MASS MoCA, this facility is a work of art in its own right, creating its own neighborhood of detailed Victorian row houses that “pay homage to generations of mill worker families who once called them home.”
Eat: Home-cooked, diner-style favorites like pancakes and eggs can be procured at Renee’s Diner (780 Mass. Ave., North Adams, 413-664-2070, where breakfast is served all day. Apples, pears, pumpkins, and winter squash are on the pick-it list during October at Lakeview Orchard (94 Old Cheshire Road, Lanesborough, lakevieworchard.com) as well as a homemade selection of some Polish favorites such as pierogi and golumpki in the kitchen. While there, don’t miss the panoramic views of Hoosac Lake. For dinner, grab some burgers, tacos, ribs, or you name it at Bounti-Fare Restaurant and Catering (200 Howland Ave., Adams, bountifare.com), which boasts a diverse menu of American favorites that are certain to satisfy the entire party.
Offbeat activity: Natural Bridge State Park (McAuley Road, North Adams, 413-663-6392) is home to the only natural, white marble arch in North America. According to geologists, “the park’s namesake natural bridge, made of 550 million year-old bedrock marble, was carved into its iconic arch by the forces of glacial melt water over 13,000 years ago.” Visitors to the park can tour an abandoned marble quarry as well as a man-made, white marble dam. It is also the only one of its kind in North America.