Berkshire East Ski Getaways
Nicknamed the "Beast," Berkshire East does its best to deliver, offering up some of the state's steeper terrain and fearsome mogul runs off the summit. But the Beast caters to families, and that means plenty of suitable terrain for all members.
With over 1100 feet of vertical and 45 trails there's bound to be a trail or pitch to someone's liking. Add night skiing from the top for all abilities, and popular web promotions including a Family Night, and you've got a mix that's sure to please.
The mountain's location along the historic Mohawk Trail (Mass. Route 2) not far west of Greenfield and I-91 makes it an easy drive from many of the larger towns and small cities in the area. The scenic beauty of the region, with steeply wooded terrain rolling off into the foothills of the Green Mountains to the north and the main Berkshires to the west, has long made this part of the state a tourist attraction. Add snow and lifts and you have the makings of winter fun.
A history of thoughtful expansion stretching back to the late 90s is responsible for the wide range of trails, a modern lift system, 100% snowmaking and updated grooming equipment. The mountains of western Massachusetts benefit from coastal storms that might not make it further north, and the Beast is poised to take advantage.
A couple of surface lifts serve gentle terrain designed for never-evers, but beginners have free reign of the main mountain. Green circle Mohawk runs for two miles from summit to base, giving beginners a real big mountain experience. Almost as long is the combination of Outback and Exhibition.
Intermediate riders and sliders will love the heart of the main mountain where more than a dozen trails await, including Big Chief, which runs just over a mile in length.
But the "beasty" part of Berkshire East can be found on trails like Umass, Liftline, Flying Cloud, and some surprisingly tough glades (one named Beast actually, go figure). Trails like these dominate the upper part of the mountain and put to rest the notion that the Berkshires are merely lesser cousins of the Greens and Whites. Not as tall, granted, but they can be every bit as steep.