This is why we live and visit here, to enjoy the beauty of it all. The hills, valleys, lake and streams - all to be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. Here are our top choices.
Audubon Sharon Encompassing 4 nature sanctuaries and 3,000 acres, an education center and a Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. Enjoy trails, live animal exhibits, nature programs and conservation events.
325 Cornwall Bridge Road Sharon CT 06069 860.364.0520sharon.audubon.org
Bartholomew's Cobble Tour the cobbles; freshwater marshes with beaver ponds, the river, on the Ledges Trail passing two small caves kids love to explore. Many children' programs.
105 Weatogue Road Ashley Falls Sheffield MA 01257 413 229 8600thetrustees.org
Beartown State Forest 12,000 acres with everything for the outdoor enthusiast. In summer there's hiking, swimming, paddling, and mountain biking. In winter snowshoe, cross country ski, snowmobile and hunt.
69 Blue Hill Road Monterey MA 01245 413.528.0904www.mass.gov
Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary Six hundred forty acres of diverse habitats with rolling and open grasslands. Six miles of trails, over 80 species of birds. Hours: Dawn to dusk.
Route 82 Stanfordville NY 12506 518.325.5203www.dec.ny.gov
Campbell Falls State Park Reserve Visit a Connecticut State Park or Forest and explore the wealth of diverse natural areas and unique features that will make your experience memorable
Old Spaulding Road Norfolk CT 06058 860.482.1817www.ct.gov
Dennis Hill State Park Hike to the summit of this 240-acre estate for panoramic views reaching as far away as New Hampshire. Fall foliage season makes Dennis Hill an autumn wonderland.
Route 272 Norfolk CT 06058www.ct.gov
Dry Hill Wander over 200 acres of forest and a maze of thickets on a trail that traces a small brook and passes vernal pools and other wetlands. Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.
Old North Road (Harmon Road) New Marlborough MA 01230 413.298.3239www.thetrustees.org
Goose Pond Reservation Paddle across Lower Goose Pond in a wilderness area protecting more than a quarter-mile of rocky shoreline. Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.
Access via Boat Ramp on Ridge Street Lee MA 01238 413.298.3239www.thetrustees.org
Great Mountain Forest 6000 acres of permanently protected land in Norfolk and Falls Village, this research and education forest with hiking trials, a maple sugarhouse and cross country skiing.
201 Windrow Road Norfolk CT 06058 860.824.8188www.greatmountainforest.org
Jug End State Reservation By preserving this over 1100 acre property and making it accessible to all, hikers can disappear for a while into a serene natural environment and discover scenic areas.
Jug End Road Mount Washington MA 01258 413.528.0330www.berkshirehiking.com
Kennedy Park Town-owned and maintained hardwood forest with old carriage roads and nearly 15 miles groomed trails. Ideal for hiking, picnics and cross-country skiing.
Route 7 and 20 Pittsfield Road Lenox MA 01240 413.637.3010lenox.org
Kent Falls State Park Wander across the covered bridge, hike the falls and feel the mist on your face as water cascades 250' down on its way to join the Housatonic River. The park is a great place to picnic.
159 Macedonia Brook Road Kent CT 06757 860.927.3238www.ct.gov
Miles Wildlife Sanctuary A self guided natural experience.
99 West Cornwall Road Sharon CT 06069 860.364.0520sharon.audubon.org
Mohawk State Forest One of the state's largest parks it offers hikers a 30 mile trail system, traversing open fields, deep forests and steep mountainsides. The views are spectacular.
Route 4 Cornwall CT 06756 203.788.7765berkshirehiking.com
Stissing Mountain and Park Stissing Mountain rises 1,400 feet. The Park includes a lake for swimming and boating, basketball courts, playing fields, areas for roller blading, skate boarding and bike riding.
Pine Plains NY 12567www.dec.ny.gov
Taconic State Park Copake Falls and Rudd Pond offer an extensive trail system with terrain that varies from easy to challenging. One can swim, picnic, hike and bike, fish and boat on the scenic 64 acre pond.
59 Rudd Pond Road Millerton NY 12546 518.789.3059nysparks.state.ny
Thompson Pond Nature Preserve At the foot of Stissing Mountain and open dawn to dusk for passive recreational and educational uses, such as cross-country skiing, hiking and bird study.
Pine Plains NY 914.244.3217www.nature.org