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5 Great Towns For Young Couples In Berkshire County

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Rural Berkshire County encompasses the far western section of Massachusetts running the length of the state. Bordering Vermont to the north, Connecticut to the south and New York to the west, there is an abundance of small towns. Scenic beauty and hiking trails abounds with two mountain ranges running north-south through the county: Berkshire Hills runs throughout the eastern and Taconic Mountains throughout the western sections with the Appalachian Trail also winding through the county. Here, we'll showcase five terrific towns for active young couples.

1. Stockbridge

Even though there are only about 2,000 residents, this town was immortalized by a 1967 Arlo Guthrie song where he sang the town had "three stop signs, two police officers and three police cars. While that may not be true today, the resort town is revered for its many attractions. Tanglewood is a place for music training and a concert venue hosting jazz, pop and classical music, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which makes this their summer home. Ice Glen is a park ravine with heavy mosses and some ice bordering a rare New England old-growth forest. Lake Mahkeenac provides water fun (canoeing, kayaking, sailing, waterskiing, powerboating, swimming) with picturesque cottages around its shoreline. Visit Naumkeag, a historic home and museum, with acres of gardens or the Birkshire Botanical Gardens. There is also the Norman Rockwell Museum and art studios, a theater, a yoga center and lots of history to explore.

2. Lee

Population 6,000, Lee has a revitalized main street shopping district, a nearby shopping outlet feature 60 stores accessible along the Massachusetts Turnpike and The Spectrum Playhouse (formerly a church) hosting arts and entertainment. Once famous for its marble, which was used for such structures as a wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and the filming of two movies, Lee is a tourist destination. Non-motorized boating, swimming, restricted hunting, hiking, walking, snowshoeing, mountain biking and camping are all outdoor activities at October Mountain State Forest. September is when the Festival Latino is held, full of dancing, music and other entertainment from Latin American countries. The AniMagic Museum of Animation highlights the work of many Berkshire County residents in large and small animation projects.

3. Great Barrington

In 2012, the charming town of Great Barrington was ranked No. 1 on the "20 Best Small Towns in America" list by Smithsonian Magazine. Bet that made its 7,100 residents proud. The birthplace of W.E.B. DeBois, a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), today the town has over 50 restaurants, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Ski Butternut resort, several country clubs, a fairgrounds, and Bard College at Simon's Rock. This forward-thinking town also has nearly $1 million in local town currency in circulation, called BerkShare Notes, to bring revenue to local businesses. Nature is calling in Great Barrington (an official Appalachian Trail Community) with several rivers, Berkshire peaks and a few state forests.

4. Dalton

A blend of rural and suburban living, Dalton's 6,800 residents mostly work at Crane and Co., a paper mill that holds the distinction of being the sole supplier of Federal Reserve Note paper (think United States money) since 1873. The town is located on the Housatonic River's east branch and features nature at its best. From the Wahconah Falls State Park (hiking, fishing, swimming, picnicking) to the Berkshire Hills with its many mountain peaks and The Dalton Wildlife Management Area, this town provides lots of outdoor activities in any season.

5. Richmond

Rustic Richmond (population 1,500) has a 226-acre natural pond complete with a boat ramp and residents-only beach. Richmond Pond itself is a 218-acre, natural pond featuring flat-water paddling, canoeing and fishing. The northwest shore has an undeveloped wetland and forest. Southwest of the lake is Nordeen Marsh, containing over 260 acres of wetlands. With orchards, farms and a few businesses, the town is mainly residential. Located on the New York State border, Richmond has many seasonal summer residents from nearby cities.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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