Fall Foliage Biking In The Berkshires

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Bicyclists seeking to enjoy New England's famed fall foliage display and cozy country inns will discover that Vermont is not their only pedaling option. In western Massachusetts, brilliant fall colors and three historic country inns await cyclists on the "Autumn in the Berkshires" bike tour offered by Easy Rider Tours.

The Berkshire Hills, located along the Massachusetts border with Connecticut and New York, are a patchwork of forested hillsides, fertile farmland, and quintessential New England villages. Easy Riders’ six-day tour features cycling routes of 25 to 50 miles per day that are suitable for riders of varying abilities.

Each tour day is designed as a balanced mix of cycling and sightseeing. Bikers will take a break from pedaling to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum and Hancock Shaker Village, an original Shaker settlement now preserved as a fascinating historical museum. But the undeniable star of the show is the foliage panorama – scarlet maples, bronze oaks, and golden birches, with hilltop vistas that stretch for miles in every direction. The ultimate view is from the top of Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts at 3,400 feet. Cyclists looking for a challenge can pedal to the summit, while others can hitch a ride in the support van provided.

Three country inns, each showcasing a different era of Berkshire history, will welcome the Easy Rider guests. The Williamsville Inn in West Stockbridge, a colonial dating from 1797, is surrounded by ten landscaped acres and its own sculpture garden. Devonfield, a gracious English-style country house in the village of Lee, was the residence of Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands in the summer of 1942. The Rookwood Inn, just a block away from the town center in Lenox, is a turreted gem brimming with Victorian detail and decor.

The Berkshires are known for their fine restaurants, and four gourmet dinners are included in the tour price. Bikers will feast on French cuisine one evening, and carbo-load at an Italian bistro on another. A special highlight is dinner at the Williamsville Inn, where an open kitchen design allows guests to observe as dinner is prepared by Master Chef Erhard Wendt. Hearty country breakfasts are provided each morning, as well as two gourmet picnic lunches.

"Autumn in the Berkshires" tour dates are September 25-30, October 2-7, and October 9-14. The per-person price of $1,750 includes five nights' accommodations (double occupancy), most meals, admission fees to museums, services of two guides and a support vehicle, and round-trip transportation to the Berkshires from Boston Logan Airport. Top-quality bicycles are available to rent for an additional $115.

In addition to the Berkshires tour, Easy Rider Tours offers guided cycling trips throughout Maritime Canada, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain. The entire tour schedule, with trip prices and itineraries, can be found on the Easy Rider website: http://www.easyridertours.com. For a free 60-page color catalog, call 800-488-8332.

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Nancy Roeder
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