Backroads in the Berkshires

If your destination is Southwest Massachusetts or the Northeast corner of Connecticut this is an alternative to the boredom and police on the Pike.

Each Memorial Day I look forward to a rite of spring, the Road Racing Classic at Lime Rock Park. The migration to attend this annual ritual has become, for me, part of the pleasure of attending the races ever since I turned off the Mass Pike to discover the Backroads in the Berkshires.

Exit the Mass Pike in Westfield; follow routes 10s and 20w to route 23 in Woronoco. Route 23 is an excellent twisty with elevation changes and classic New England scenery. It meanders through the small towns of Blandford, Otis and Monterey. I recommend observing the posted limits when approaching these small population centers.

When out of town it is important to keep in mind that deer and other wildlife may be around that next bend. Just west of Monterey, Route 23 is bordered to the north by Beartown State Forest and to the south by East Mountain State Forest. On this stretch of road coming down into Great Barrington I was fortunate to miss a deadly twister, which touched down on Memorial Day, a few years back. The damage is still evident in the valley to your left. Route 23 joins 7 and 41s in Great Barrington. Continue on route 41s, which parallels 7 but is less congested and more scenic. It passes Mt. Everett State Reservation and Bash Bish Falls off to the right before entering Connecticut. If your destination is Lime Rock Park, access the racetrack by continuing south on 41, left on 112e to the raceway.

Copyright 2001-2012 Greg Sarni, USA