Summer fun at Berkshire East

CHARLEMONT, Mass. — The snow is long gone, but there is still plenty to do at Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont.

“Most people think of us as a ski resort, winter only,” said Nathan Marr, director of marketing for Berkshire East. “However, look at this, we’re here in the middle of July, it’s a beautiful sunny day, and we have summer activities as well.”

What You Need To Know

  • There are plenty of outdoors activities at Berkshire East Mountain Resort in the summer
  • The mountain becomes one of the largest mountain bike parks in the northeast
  • The resort also has a mountain coaster, zip lines and ropes courses
  • The mountain employs 300 people year round and helps support the local economy

During the summer, the mountain was transformed into one of the largest mountain bike parks in the northeast.

There are dozens of trails to choose from at the top of the mountain, and bikers take rides on the modified main chairlift to the summit to start each run.

“Our team will swap out some of the chairs with modified chairs that will hold the mountain bikes,” said Marr. “So the riders will put their bikes on first, and then they’ll take the chair behind. It’s a great system, and that will be on through the fall.”

Right next door to the lift is the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster. It’s the longest mountain coaster on the east coast, and is a big hit with riders of all ages.

“It takes you up the mountain 1,400 feet, and you get released and you come down a series of turns and swoops and swishes,” said Dale Danylin, who works the coaster’s ticket booth. “You are in control of the cart the whole time, you can apply the brakes, or you don’t need to apply the brakes, whatever you’d like to do. It’s an exhilarating ride.”

Then there’s the aerial park, where you can take a ride on a zip line or challenge yourself on the low and high ropes courses.

“We have bridges, we have swings,” said Grace Walker, supervisor of the aerial park. “We’ve got all sorts of fun stuff like zip lines. We’ve got all sorts of materials, wood, cables, ropes, chains, we have a snowboard and skis as part of our swings, and then a free-fall auto-belay jump back down to the ground.”

Even on a weekday, the mountain is full of activity. Marr said not only is it good for their business, but being open year-round is a lift to the entire area.

“It is important for the local economy,” said Marr. “We do keep about 300 folks employed throughout the year, and it keeps the local economy going as well. So, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, all the little gift shops and things like that, we do attract a large crowd from the tri-state area.”


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