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Summer Fun: 9 Epic Things to Do around Charlemont

By Amanda Major

It’s summertime, and the small adventure-filled town of Charlemont, Massachusetts is bursting with places to explore and things to do! Find out where to go to have some sweet summer fun here in the heart of the Deerfield River Valley. There is a summer activity for everyone in Charlemont!

Hiking

beautiful hiking outdoors

If outdoor activities spark your interest, there is no shortage of hiking in and around Charlemont. Just a short car ride away, the trails range from easy family hiking to steep and difficult climbs that will have you reaching your cardio max in a jiffy! 

Looking for a nice mellow hike that is good for the whole family? Check out Mohawk Trail State Forest for a walk through old growth forest on the Mahican-Mohawk Trail, likely one of the oldest foot trails in Massachusetts. Feeling more intrigued by a strenuous hike? Try Bear Swamp Hiking Trail on Negus Mountain or the Shelburne Fire Tower trail options to get your blood pumping on a steeper route for a more vertical adventure.

Biking

Woman mountain biking

Charlemont has a delightful range of biking opportunities for many levels and styles. Whether you like to hit the long, meandering, country roads with your skinny tires or you have the need for gravity propelled downhill mountain biking thrills, there are opportunities for biking fun for all. 

Berkshire East’s Thunder Mountain Bike Park is a gravity downhill mountain bike park. Riders take the lift up and ride down the amazing purpose-built trails that range from introductory green trails to Pro-Line jump trails. 

Across the river, riders can find the Warfield House Trails (aka Charlemont Trails) behind Zoar Outdoor, which is a steep and technical cross-country trail system that is sure to challenge riders while giving excellent New England riding. Contact Berkshire Bike Tours for more information on riding locations and lessons.

Kayaking

group of people kayaking

Looking to power your own adventure down Charlemont’s Deerfield River? Kayaking is an excellent way to explore the Deerfield River Valley. There are sit-in or sit-on-top whitewater kayaking options available through Zoar Outdoor. Zoar Outdoor’s Guided River Kayak program is a great afternoon family activity for folks who love paddling their own sit-on-top craft. Zoar Outdoor’s Paddlesports School, one of the top paddlesports instruction schools in the country, has a range of instruction offerings to hone your down river whitewater maneuvering skills to take your paddling to the next level.

Rafting

Girl white water rafting

Whitewater rafting is one of the best ways to cool off in the summer heat. Join Zoar Outdoor or Berkshire East for rafting adventures suitable for the whole family. If you are driven by adrenaline and looking to take on the Dryway’s Class 3-4 Labyrinth and Dragon’s Tooth rapids, sign up for a trip on the Dryway/Monroe Bridge section of the Deerfield River. Maybe you and your group are looking for a social, playful and splashy trip?? A Zoar Gap Trip down the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield River (Class 2-3) will bring summer fun for everyone. How about  a mellow vibe on the river? Join us on our Family Float Trip! Perfect for young families (Ages 5+) or folks looking for a relaxing trip down the Deerfield River.

Ziplining and Aerial Adventures

Man ziplining

Do you love the idea of soaring through the air like a bird? Charlemont has a plethora of ziplining and aerial adventures to choose from.

Berkshire East has several zip and aerial park tours to choose from. The Mountain Top Tour has 7 zip lines that fly you around Berkshire’s mountain top (minimum age is 8). The Berkshire East Valley Jump is six zips with a delightful hike up to the platforms of 2 longer cross valley ziplines (ages 12 and up), and the Base Area Zip Tour is great for younger kids ages 7 and up. Finally, the Aerial Adventure Park at Berkshire East is a unique and exciting suspended high ropes challenge course.

Zoar Outdoor’s Zip Line Canopy Tour is another great option for exploring the Deerfield Valley trees with style. Throughout the course, you’ll ride 11 different ziplines. The course is progressive, so zips vary in length and height, getting faster and longer as you zip through the tour. You will also walk across two sky bridges and rappel from three platforms with the assistance of your guides.

Mountain Coaster

Mountain roller coaster

The Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster at Berkshire East is a combination of an alpine slide and a roller coaster. The Thunderbolt takes riders up 1,580 feet of up-track through the forest before the cart disengages and gravity takes over. You will find swooping turns, banked corners, rolling drops, and 360 degree turns along the 3,870 feet of downhill track. Each cart is equipped with its own braking system, allowing you to slow speeds to a comfortable pace or accelerate to G-force inducing levels.

Great Eats

There are several great places to eat after a long day chasing fun in the sun. The Boathouse Galley is a delightful stop right along the river to grab some seafood and enjoy the view. 

Berkshire Pizzeria is a Charlemont staple for classic New York style pizza and Italian inspired dishes. Dine in or take out options are available, with a great outdoor back porch seating area.

The Crazy Horse Bar and Grill, located at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, is a wonderful space to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends. Spacious tables and outdoor seating options make this spot a great location to unwind after an active day.

For breakfast, lunch and ice cream, be sure to check out Wells Provisions! Our new café and market in town!

Music

There are many music offerings in and around Charlemont this summer. For a casual feel, join the fun at the Crazy Horse Bar and Grill at Berkshire East for Friday night Open Mic Nights from 6-9pm–dinner and entertainment!

Berkshire East had also hosted several chart topping musical artists for two spectacular summer concerts. We’ll be crossing our fingers for more in the future!

Down the road in Hawley, Stump Sprouts is having a summer concert series that highlights Americana and Folk artists. Check out the Stump Sprouts Skyline Concert Series website for more information.

Camping

After an adventure packed day, Charlemont has many options to find rest and relaxation in the wilderness. Cabin tents, yurts, and tent sites are available camping options at Zoar Outdoor. Berkshire East offers tent and RV camping (no sewer, water, or electric hookups).

Down the road from Zoar Outdoor and Berkshire East, you can find Charlemont’s newest neighbor, Foolhardy Hill, a unique camping experience complete with private cabins, tent sites, a communal kitchen space, and beautiful mountainous views.

Camping not your thing? Love your creature comforts? Stay at Zoar Outdoor’s newly renovated Hawk Mountain Lodge or the Warfield House Inn up the road for a comfortable stay.

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