Saturday, May 16, 2020
Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s trails are open. We recognize the importance of being outside for mental and physical well-being and our goal is to maintain this status for our community.
At trailheads you will find signage to encourage social distancing on trails. Our use policies during this time follow the guidelines of the CDC and State of Massachusetts. We suggest that hikers bring a mask, in case the conditions warrant using one. We also ask that you avoid parking on the road if a parking lot is full and to come back at another time.
Please leash your dog on BNRC trails at this time, since our four-legged friends don’t seem to understand social distancing. Additionally, we won’t be keeping trail maps stocked at trailheads and encourage hikers to take a picture of the kiosk map or use the BNRC Berkshire Trails App to help navigate for the time being.
BNRC has always trusted and relied on visitors to be responsible users of our reserves. With increased visitation and stress on trailheads, now more than ever, we ask that visitors please respect these requests — if we all work together, we can keep the trails open.
Thanks and best to you all.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
This week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a stay at home advisory, requiring all non-essential businesses to close. He also encouraged people to take walks in parks and nature to maintain physical and mental health. With those directives to guide us, BNRC will leave most of its trails open to the public for the time being, with the exception of Parsons Marsh Reserve and accessible trail, as it is impossible to maintain appropriate social distance on the narrow boardwalks.
Top BNRC trail information here:
All upcoming hikes and happenings are cancelled until further notice.
Public enjoyment of the natural beauty of the Berkshires is essential to the BNRC mission that you make possible every day. We urge you to follow these common-sense guidelines for all your outdoor visits:
- Stay local and avoid high-traffic destinations.
- If you are over 70 or medically vulnerable, stay home. If you are not feeling well, stay home.
- Avoid crowds; conduct your outings solo or with other members of your household.
- Be ready to step aside or move quickly through areas where people congregate such as parking lots and trailheads. If you arrive at a location and there are more than a handful of cars in the parking lot, please come back another time.
- Please be safe: maintain at least a 6-foot distance between yourself and others. Be prepared to step aside, and let people know you are near if they can’t see you.
Please note that, for the most part, our staff and volunteers will not be out clearing fallen trees or addressing other trail needs, so you may find the trails in rougher shape than usual. Please always feel free to let us know of any maintenance or safety issues you discover on BNRC properties, by emailing FrontDesk@bnrc.org.
Medical and scientific authorities advise that it is crucial for public and individual health that we take extreme measures immediately—to “flatten the curve” and prevent the spread of COVID-19 we must do everything we possibly can to stay isolated from one another. We think this can be done without closing our trails at this time, but if we learn that crowds are forming and it is impossible to maintain good distance on any of our trails, we may close them in the coming days.
Together, we can do this—and emerge from this challenge stronger and more connected than before.
While working at home, the BNRC team will continue sharing videos, photos, nature bits, and inviting conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the Landkeepers Blog, and LEARN about mammal tracks, stone walls, woody plants, and much more on the BNRC website. There are even wildflower coloring pages you can print!
In other words, please stay in touch. We will too.
Thank you for all of your support. We can’t wait to be on the trails again with you, for hikes and volunteer workdays, enjoying the Berkshire outdoors together—hopefully soon.