ON THE WATER
The Berkshires have an abundance of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds available for recreational use. If you love being in or on the water, you’ll love the Berkshires!
Fishing is one of the more popular summer activities in the Berkshires, and for good reason. The various bodies of water in the county are home to many species of sportfish. From the sunfish and perch, always favorites among the younger anglers, to trout, crappie, bass (large and smallmouth), pike and even tiger muskies, you can probably find your favorite quarry in Berkshire County. In fact, two current state records, chain pickerel and tiger muskie, were caught in waters less than a half-hour from Jiminy!
For more information on fishing please check out Mass Wildlife. For resident and non-resident licensing information please go to Mass Wildlife License Information.
The Berkshires also offer ample choices for swimming and boating. One of the great things about the Berkshires is the number of swimming ponds with beaches, changing rooms and outhouses. These are generally in beautiful scenic settings, and day tickets are inexpensive. Worth checking out are: Benedict Pond in Beartown State Forest, Otis Reservoir, Lulu Pond in Pittsfield State Forest, North and South ponds in Savoy Mountain State Forest, and Windsor State Forest. The historic Sand Springs Pool and Spa on Sand Springs Road in Williamstown, a recreational and therapeutic spa since 1762, relies on water from an underground thermal spring to fill its Olympic-sized pool. Also available are indoor and outdoor whirlpools, toddler pool, a sauna and exercise equipment. Several towns also maintain swimming areas. Try lakes Onota and Pontoosuc in Pittsfield, Lake Garfield in Monterey, Windsor Lake in North Adams, and Margaret Lindley Park in Williamstown. If you’re looking for a swim that’s a bit more refreshing, there are plenty of clear, and cold, mountain streams and rivers to choose from as well.
Pontoosuc Lake and Onota Lake in Pittsfield are also great for boating or canoeing. Hoosac Lake in Cheshire, also known as Cheshire Reservoir, is another great choice for canoeing or kayaking, as are several of the Berkshires’ rivers. The best part of all is that even if you don’t own a watercraft or have never tried boating or canoeing, you’re in luck. There are places within an easy drive that can get you what you need to get started off on the right foot.
Berkshire Canoe Tours
Surround yourself with the beauty of the Berkshires. Day and evening tours are available, including moonlight tours. All you need to bring is your sense of adventure, all other equipment is supplied for you. Group rates are available for groups of 10-20 people. Call (413) 442-2789 for more information.
Berkshire Fishing Club
Berkshire Fishing Club is a private, members only, club located in Becket, which operates from May through October. Though it is members only, trial memberships, which include the use of a fully-equipped 3 person bass boat, are available to the public. Gear rentals are also available. Comprising 850 beautifully wooded acres surrounding a sparkling, private fishing lake (no fishing license required), the club offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, including fishing, fishing schools, hiking, and canoeing. See Berkshire Fishing Club for more information.
Berkshire Outfitters has been a source for high end racing and recreational canoes and X-C Ski equipment as well as recreational and sea kayaks since 1978. They also carry mountain bikes, camping and hiking equipment, and more. Berkshire Outfitters also rents canoes and kayaks and can direct you to some of the Berkshires’ best paddling waters.
Wild & Wet Water Sport Rentals
Located on Pontoosuc Lake, less than 15 minutes from Jiminy, Wild & Wet rents just about anything that floats. In addition to canoes and paddleboats, you can rent Jet-Skis and pontoon boats. Waterskiing and tube rides are also available, by reservation only, Monday through Friday. For more information and reservations please call (413) 445-5211.
Opening for the summer on Saturday, May 24 and operating only on weekends until June 15. Open daily from June 21 through Labor Day.
Looking to add some excitement to your paddling? Then kick it up a notch at Zoar Outdoor. The northeast’s leader in outdoor adventure, Zoar Outdoor offers whitewater rafting as well as whitewater canoeing and kayaking clinics for all ability levels, and they’re located less than a hour from Jiminy! Certain age restrictions may apply. Check out Zoar Outdoor for more information.