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Explorers Guide to the Berkshires: 'Berkshire Destinations'

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
03:23AM / Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Raven Rock in Adams is a remote and challenging destination to reach.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Local authors Jan and Christy Butler penned "Berkshire Destinations," an explorers guide to waterfalls, boulders, vistas and points of interest of the Berkshire Hills and Western Massachusetts.
"Berkshire Destinations" is the Butlers' fourth book and the "unconventional explorer's guide" includes 159 chapters that will guide readers to known and obscure waterfalls, glacial erratics, vistas, gardens, cultural institutions, and historical landmarks found in the Western Massachusetts foothills.
"Having a hiking guide to vistas, boulders and waterfalls is all well and good, so long as the weather is cooperating," Christy said. "So diversifying does provide a change of pace for rainy days or after completion some alternatives for those who want a change of pace."
Christy said he first planned to write a book only about New England statues but after receiving some feedback from friends and readers, he decided to keep his focus in Berkshire County and Western Massachusetts.
"I agreed and so as not to repeat my previous endeavors, I needed to diversify the content somewhat," he said. "Although I have selected some boulders and erratics for 'Berkshire Destinations,' some are locations that are crowd-pleasers, with some that were not included in 'Rockachusetts'."
Christy, who also penned "Rockachusetts" and "Erratic Wandering," said, like his other books, "Berkshire Destinations" includes illustrations, photographs, maps, and Global Positioning Coordinates (GPS) for parking and destinations for each location in each chapter.
Some new more obscure sites in "Berkshire Destinations" include one of the original Hoosac Tunnel Alignment Towers in North Adams and the Thunderbolt Rock in the Greylock Glen.
What separates "Berkshire Destinations" from his other books is the inclusion of statues, studios, historic homes, educational institutions and other cultural institutions  
"I did follow through with some chapters of the iconic statues easily seen or found. Obviously, Berkshire County is the home to iconic sculptors and their studios," he said. "... In addition, Berkshire County has world-class art museums."
Included in the book are chapters featuring The Mount, Naumkeag, the Bridge of Flowers, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Williams College, and the Clark Art Institute among others.
Like his other books, Christy said some of his favorite chapters have to do with little known subjects that are often hidden in plain sight.
"Most of my favorite chapters deal with the obscure and hidden locations even if they have been hidden right in front of your eyes," he said. "Turtle Rock on the outlet of Mill Pond crossing Route 41 in Egremont was a great surprise to find, finally after looking for several years after being told about it at the Cummington Fair. Navin Falls and No-Name falls a couple of waterfalls in October State Forest, while not as dynamic as Bash Bish Falls, are quite satisfying to visit after bushwhacking some to reach them."
Christy said with COVID-19 limiting what people can do, "Berkshire Destinations," along with his other books provide safer opportunities for folks looking to adventure.
"Our newest and fourth book 'Berkshire Destinations' as well as 'Rockachusetts' or 'Erratic Wandering' are for individuals, families or anyone seeking new and different destinations," he said. "... I would just about guarantee that many of these locations that you would or may be completely isolated from mobs, hence social distancing will be achieved."
The book can be purchased in black and white or in color on Amazon.

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