A Tourist Guide to the Berkshires

1. Introduction: Characterized by rolling hills and peaks, and dissected by river valleys, the Berkshires, considered southern extensions of Vermont's Green Mountains, traverse Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, diminishing in elevation and profile from both north to south and west to east. Named by Sir Francis Bernard to honor his home county in England, they constitute both a highland geologic and cultural region, attracting significant tourism during the summer months. 2. History: Wind, weather, and erosional chiseling of once towering mountains that formed the Housatonic, Green, and Hoosic River valleys after retreat of the last ice age some 25,000 years ago created the current hills and low-elevation peaks. Mohican Indians, who had defected from the Hudson River Iroquois settlements during the …