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Explore Your Inner Backpacker

Mark your calendars for April 25! Announcing a Backpacking Workshop and Series, a joint effort of the Berkshire and Worcester Chapters. You will learn the basics and the fine points of backpacking from seasoned and newer backpackers who love to share their expertise.

The workshop will cover:

Light Weight Options
Clothing: Hats to Boots
Gear: Backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, etc.
Cooking and Hydration
Leave No Trace
And more!


April 25 Workshop
May 9 Gear Shakedown (Bring your full backpack for a check; go for a hike)
May 16-17 Backpack #1 (easy-moderate) Tully Trail, Royalston, MA
May 30-31 Backpack #2 (moderate-challenging) Stratton Loop, Vermont
May 30-31 Backpack #3 (moderate-challenging) Mid State Trail, Westminster, MA
June 12-14 Backpack #4 (moderate-challenging) Mass AT
TBA Lots more!

A note about the listings: Because this series is a joint effort of the Berkshire and Worcester Chapters, some of the Backpacks will be listed only on the Berkshire Activities website, and others only on the Worcester site, the links above will take you to the appropriate listing for more information. You are welcome to sign up for any of the trips. Workshop attendees will be given preference on Explore Your Inner Backpacker trips.

Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 8:00am

2015 Westfield River Symposium

2015 Westfield River Symposium: WRWA's annual river symposium will be held on Saturday, April 11 in the Scanlon Banquet Hall on the campus of Westfield State University. This year's theme is "Outdoor Fun in Your Watershed", with a variety of speakers and exhibitors in the morning and a couple of field trips in the afternoon (weather permitting). The keynote address will be given by Joe Giffune, President of the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail, who will talk about the history and future of that new addition to local recreational opportunities. The tentative full program is available here.

Westfield State University
Scanlon Banquet Hall
577 Western Avenue.
Westfield, MA 01086

Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 8:00am

The Best Cure is Getting Outdoors

Winter snowshoe scene

Berkshire Chapter leaders are busy planning and leading trips! Whether you’re interested in Hiking, Backpacking, Paddling, Rock Climbing, Snowshoeing, Skiing, Trail Work, or Conservation, the AMC Berkshire Chapter is your connection to the outdoors.

All upcoming events can be found on AMC’s Online Activities Database.

    Here's a sample of activities and events we have planned for you--come join us!
  • Backpacking Series
  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail Series
  • Waterfalls of Western Mass & Photography Series
  • Introduction to Rock Climbing
  • Trail Maintenance Training and Trail Work

AMC Berkshire Chapter Annual Spring Potluck

Winter cabin scene

Got Cabin Fever? The AMC Berkshire Chapter has the Cure.

Spring will be here before you know it, and to celebrate, the Berkshire Chapter will host a Spring Potluck and presentation for members and non-members. Come join us for this fun event--this is a great opportunity to connect with others in the area who enjoy the outdoors!

In addition to the varied selection of food, you will be treated to a presentation about the Wildlife on the Appalachian Trail in Berkshire County. The program will be presented by wildlife tracker Jim Pelletier, the Chairperson for the Appalachian Trails Committee of the Berkshire Chapter.

Potluck suggestions: Last names beginning with A-E bring appetizers; F-L bring salads & sides; M-S bring main dishes; T-Z bring desserts.

Reception – Hors D ’Oeuvres: 6:00pm
Dinner: 6:45pm
Presentation: 7:30pm

Unitarian-Universalist Church of Northampton
220 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060

Parking: Metered parking in Northampton is free after 6pm on Saturdays, parking is also available at the parking garage (first hour is free) and the lot near the bus station.

RSVP to Bess Dillman at

Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 6:00pm

Berkshire Chapter Leader Offering AMC Adventure Travel Biking Trip to Switzerland

August 8-16, 2015

Join us on a bicycle trip to the beautiful Swiss Alpine Region. We will explore the best the region has to offer: scenic trails, castles, mountain passes, glacial lakes, and clean mountain air. Optional activities include hikes, chocolate making, cheese making, museums, and a visit to Jungfraujoch for views of the mesmerizing Aletsch glacier. Two options for daily rides: moderate (about 30 miles) & advanced (60+ miles). Our rides will weave between high Alpine mountains, along lake shores, & over mountain passes for the advanced rides. We will stay in a hostel in Lucerne, with one night in Interlaken, and ride from our doorstep or take a train to the start or from the end. Lodging in bunk beds in private rooms. Cost $1,999 includes lodging, bicycle, breakfast, dinner, and local transport through Swiss rail pass. Fees for side trips, picnic lunches and airfare (est $1,350) not included. Leader Rebecca Budaj,, 413-289-0114; co-leader Rami Haddad,, 425-922-0454. Prospectus at

Appalachian Trail Maintaining Sections Available

The A.T. Committee is looking for maintainers for three great sections in the southern Berkshires. These are particularly interesting sections of trail, and a volunteer needs a serious commitment to their upkeep. See for the requirements of a Trail Maintainer.

Contact Dave Koerber for more info:

Housatonic River to South Egremont Rd (2.7miles): This mostly flat section across the Housatonic valley experiences rapid plant growth, and some parts need monthly visits May through August. Wildflowers and rare plants abound in this area.

Mt Everett Summit to Elbow Trail (1.8 miles): This higher elevation section is accessed from the Mount Everett summit road in Mt Washington Mass. It contains sections of dense laurel growth and contains about 2 dozen water bars that need annual cleaning. Two overnight sites are on this section, but are covered by other adopters.

Mt Everett Summit to Mt Race Summit (1.8 miles): This rugged section is accessed from the Race Brook Falls Trail on Rt 41. Heavy laurel growth and steep trails make this a challenging section. Great views on both summits and the satisfaction of a job well done are your rewards.

Warrior Hikers visit Noble View, talk at Russell VFW

Cecil Thayer at Blackburn Trail Center

Seven military veterans will pause from their Appalachian Trail hike to rest and meet the public in a special event at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Noble View Outdoor Center and Russell VFW on July 22.
Noble View and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6645 are offering the veterans participating in the Warrior Hike "Walk Off the War" program, including one from Orange, a meal, showers and a rest in a real bed, 19 weeks into their six-month hike from Georgia to Maine.
The public will have an opportunity to meet the hikers during the event on July 22.

CRWC Annual River Celebration

AMC is partnering with the Connecticut River Watershed Council for their Annual River Celebration on Saturday, June 21 at Gillette Castle State Park in CT. This year they are celebrating the expansion of the CT River Paddlers’ Trail, a major initiative that the AMC has been hard working on.

Galehead Hut Backpack

Submitted by Heather Wyman, AMC Berkshire Family Programs Chair

On May 17-18 2014 I led an exciting family backpacking trip to the White Mountain National Forest with 12 Scouts and fathers (AMC members as well) meeting Karen and Al from the PVHC at Galehead Hut. Planning the trip was tricky because originally, 21 people were paid or scheduled to hike, and some of the group needed to cancel last minute, including one parking lot casualty due to a stomach bug. Thanks goes to Lori Tisdell of the PVHC, who just finished her Culinary degree at HCC, who helped design a working menu of dinner and breakfast foods for the self-serve hut. Muah!

Plant a Chestnut Orchard!

As you may know, the American Chestnut tree used to be a prolific provider of nourishment over the winter months, and the tree was found all over the Eastern seaboard. However, in 1904 a bark blight was introduced from Asia, which spread and destroyed almost all the trees. Now, once the tree grows enough to develop bark, the fungus girdles and topples it. The tree still lives with sprouts coming from around the trunk. For many years, dedicated organizations have been trying to breed blight-resistant trees.


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