Catamount Web

Swinging in the Berkshires!

Looking for a super fun activity to do with the kids this spring & summer in the Berkshires?  Then visit the Catamount Aerial Adventure Park located in Hillsdale, NY, 15 minutes from Great Barrington, right over the Massachusetts state line. You & the kids will have three or so hours of thrills & excitement, get a great workout & discover muscles you never knew existed!

 

Zip Line!

Cousins Zip Line Fun!

The beauty of the aerial adventure park is that it’s suitable for ages 7 & up and works much like a ski slope – with multiple courses for varying ages & difficulty levels. After being fitted for your harness & given a pair of safety gloves, you’ll receive a quick demo from the park staff on how the equipment works, proper safety, etc. And, then it’s off to the action. The best part is that each course ends with super fun zip lines that take you from the course area down to the Catamount base lodge.

We always go as a family & it never gets old. And, it’s one of the most requested destinations of our weekend guests. So.. what are you waiting for? Head over to Catamount Aerial Adventure Park & have fun swinging!

Ava Ramps Cover

The Family that Forages Together…

There’s been lots of talk and social media posting by our foody friends about spring ramp foraging here in the Berkshires. So… during a family walk in our neighborhood the other night, my 9 year old daughter shrieks with excitement “hey, mom & dad, I think those look like ramps!”. She then reaches down and pulls a couple of weed looking plants up from the ground & voilà –  we’ve got beautiful, pungent ramps folks – and plenty of them!

Ramps Carrie

My wife & her babies

As a newby to foraging, I must confess there’s something very exciting & wholesome about the experience. And, the kids had an absolute blast digging up and gathering the booty. As soon as we got home, we cleaned the ramps and my wife made a delicious ramp frittata that we devoured within minutes. (check out our friend & Berkshires based cookbook author Alana Chernila’s recipe for ramp, asparagus & ricotta frittata. )

So, next time you’re up in the Berkshires in the spring, give me a holler. You never know – I might just share our ramp treasure map with you. Til then, happy foraging!

Mud Day

Don’t Miss Mud Day!

This Saturday, May 17th is Mud Day! What on earth is Mud Day, you ask?  Mud Day is a spring festival celebrating the Berkshires landscape & the environment. The festival is held at Muddy Brook Elementary School – 318 Monument Valley Rd., in Great Barrington, from 11am – 3pm.  The event is open to the public.

We went last year with the kids & it was a blast. It’s such a wholesome family event – no cheesy game booths & prize tickets for junky plastic toys that linger around your house for years.  Each class exhibits a project they worked on during the school year related to the environment & conservation.  And, the highlight (for the kids, at least) are several mud pits that the kids get to play in.  Our kids’ favorite was the tug of war mud pit. They’ll also have lots of fun craft activities for the kids.  Last year my daughter spun her own colorful jump rope that she still uses.

My daughter creating her own jump rope

My daughter creating her own jump rope

To top it off, there will be great food (from Prairie Whale, ice cream from The Scoop & amazing doughnuts from Home Sweet Home Doughnut Shoppe ), musical entertainment & plenty of mud for the kids to romp around in.  Important tip: bring a spare change of clothes for your kids & bring them to the festivities in clothes that you don’t mind them getting dirty.  Enjoy!

six depot @ TABLE

The Most Amazing Coffee – Right Here in West Stockbridge!

If you haven’t been yet, you owe it to yourself to visit Six Depot Café & Roastery located at Six Depot Street in West Stockbridge. They not only roast all of the coffee beans on site but also serve a full breakfast & lunch menu. I love the Chicken Mechado (the Miami salsa is amazing) & the egg sandwich is off the charts. My kids love the waffles with dulce de leche or Nutella for breakfast but I prefer the local Berle Farm yogurt with fresh fruit, granola & a touch of local honey on top. My favorite coffee is their Seck-Sie, Sumatra Three Ways Blend – but all of their coffees are awesome! They can do a pour over of any of their coffees– so tasty and fun to watch! They also have a large selection of teas. The design and décor of the space – by Adam Medina – is also awesome. And be sure to say hello to owners Flavio Lichtenthal & Lisa Landry who will happily share their vast knowledge & passion of all things coffee, tea & Berkshires with you.

Service with Smile!

Service with a Smile!

They’re also serving dinner on Friday nights now & be sure to check out the rotating exhibits & the concerts & tango dancing going on in their beautiful gallery space.  And, word has it they’ll be broadcasting the World Cup soccer matches in their gallery this summer!

Hancock Shaker

Baby Animals & More – Hancock Shaker Village

If you have never been, you owe it to yourself, your kids or your grandkids to go to Hancock Shaker Village for their annual Baby Animals event. The special tour price includes a hay ride, photo of your family holding some of the baby animals and a behind the scenes tour with a chance to hold bay chicks, ducklings, pigs and lambs! We take our kids every year & it never gets old. And when you’re their be sure to have a chat with Laura a/ka the “Chicken Lady” who can not only answer all of your questions about the baby animals but also share her passion for chickens with you.

Ava Pig

Cute little piggy – aye?

And, they’re holding a Backyard Beekeeping Workshop on May 17th.  How cool is that?

Have a blast at Hancock Shaker Village!

Ice Glen Main

Hiking Ice Glen & the Perfect Post Hike Dinner

Looking for a really fun hike, suitable for all ages and right next to downtown Stockbridge? Then be sure to check out the Ice Glen Trail in Stockbridge (trailhead is on Park Road) . The entire hike will take you +/- 1 hour and you’ll have a blast climbing in & out of the boulders. And, when you’re done and have built up an appetite, stop by Widow Bingham’s Tavern inside the Red Lion Inn.  Chef Brian Alberg & his crew create amazing dishes from the farm fresh produce that surrounds us here in the Berkshires.

Bighma's Tavern Desert

Birthday Dessert at Bingham’s Tavern

My son loves all of the old world charm & nostalgia of the tavern & claims their burger (with farm fresh egg on top, of course) is the best in the Berkshires.  And, as you can see, he never skips their delicious desserts!  He loves the Belgian chocolate mousse with salted caramel & my favorite is the pear creme brulee with smoked almond biscotti.  Bingham’s Tavern has lots of kid friendly options too.

Have an awesome hike & we’ll see you at the Red Lion!

 

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Bachman’s in the Berkshires!

This past August, my wife & I, two kids (9 & 11), traded our suburban NYC life for one in the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts.  How many times have you asked yourself while vacationing somewhere amazing: Why does our time in this awesome place always have to end? My wife & I found ourselves asking this so often while vacationing here that it got us thinking: Hmm….maybe it doesn’t. And, after much debate & discussion, we decided to take the leap & make the move. I’ll continue to work as a realtor here, at Sotheby’s, helping people buy & sell their dream weekend home in the Massachusetts Berkshires & neighboring Columbia County, NY (for my realtor site, click here).

Our Kids Skiing at Butternut

Our Kids Skiing at Butternut in Great Barrington

We’re loving our new life in the Berkshires for so many different reasons. For us, it’s the perfect blend of country relaxation & city sophistication. The natural beauty alone creates a more relaxed pace of life – being surrounded by majestic mountains with tons of hiking & biking trails & crystal clear lakes with soaring hawks & bald eagles. At the same time, the area is chock-full of interesting, creative people, first-rate cultural offerings & an endless array of year-round outdoor activities. Plus, we get to enjoy & experience the evolution of what’s been dubbed the “New Berkshires”, characterized by fresh, innovative arts & haute yet humble locavore cuisine. After a few cups of incredible locally roasted coffee, dinner at one of the many outstanding farm-to-table restaurants or a visit to the world renowned Mass Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), we almost forget that we’re not in NYC anymore. If it weren’t for the rolling farmland right outside our window, we totally would. Let’s just say this definitely is not your father’s Berkshires.

So many of the people & places here have fascinating stories, & I’ve hand-picked the most unique of those stories to share with you.  Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, a second home purchase or a permanent move here, let Bachman’s Berkshires be your go-to resource for the New Berkshires.  And, be sure to sign up to receive regular email updates.

Thanks for joining me on my adventure!