5 Hikes for Families in Western MA State Forests and Parks
Take a Hike!
Explore the State Forests and Parks of Western MA
Explore the hills of Western Massachusetts – spend an afternoon hiking at one of the many local state forests and parks! The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) offers families an outline of hikes at numerous locations all over the Hilltowns and Berkshires, including the DAR State Forest (Goshen, MA), Western Gateway Heritage State Park (North Adams, MA), Pittsfield State Forest (Pittsfield, MA), Mohawk Trail State Forest (Charlemont, MA), and the Tolland State Forest (Otis, MA).
Their guide, Take a Hike! Explore the State Forests and Parks of Western MA, shares information on finding and following trails, as well as length of hike, difficulty, and interesting highlights that families can see, explore, and learn about on each trail. Hikes make a great summer adventure for families, but are also great through the fall (until it snows, then break out the snowshoes!) and in spring, as leaves begin to appear. Explore the many different hikes suggested, and find a family favorite!
Outdoor explorations can also supplement students’ studies of local ecology – bring a field guide and learn to identify the many different trees, flowers, etc. that you discover. To check out the hikes, download their guide, Take a Hike! Explore the State Forests and Parks of Western MA.
RECOMMENDED GUIDES FOR BEGINNERS:
Golden Guides from St. Martin’s Press are beginner field guides that offer an introduction to different outdoor classifications that are easy to used for any family just starting their outdoor explorations together. Pick up a guide on a particular topic your kids are interested in exploring while hiking our local state forests and parks, and go on a quest together to find and identify parts of our natural habitats:
- Insects: Revised and Updated (Golden Guide)
- Birds (Golden Guide)
- Butterflies and Moths (Golden Guide)
- Spiders and Their Kin (Golden Guide)
- Reptiles and Amphibians: Revised and Updated (Golden Guide)
- Mammals (Golden Guide)
- Trees: Revised and Updated (Golden Guide)
- Wildflowers: Revised and Updated (Golden Guide)
- Weeds (Golden Guide)
- Frogs and Toads (Golden Guide from St. Martin’s Press)