Skiing Berkshire East, in Charlemont MA, feels like going back to a time when everyone was friendly, lift lines didn’t exist and lift tickets didn’t break the bank. It may not be as glamorous as the ski areas to its north but it provides an experience that makes it my favorite ski area in Massachusetts.
There is nothing fancy about Berkshire East. It doesn’t have a huge terrain park and the lodge has a 1970s vibe. Also, there is no waffle hut and there are no gondolas or high speed lifts. However Berkshire East does have everything you need for an amazing day of skiing and lift tickets are only $60. This includes 45 trails with just over 1000 feet of vertical, steep pitches, 100% snowmaking, grooming and friendly customer service.
30% of the trails are greens, 45% are blues and 25% are black or double black diamonds, which means there is something for everyone. My personal favorite trail is Big Chief; a blue trail that winds through a picturesque forest from the summit to the main lift. The mountain has 1 main base area and 6 total lifts. You can find faster lifts, more trails and fancier lodges at Mount Snow but you will also find 30+ minute lift lines. Berkshire East rarely has lines so you can get more runs in per day than anywhere else.
Berkshire East’s lodge and trails might give off an old New England vibe but the mountain is looking towards a future of reduced environmental impact. They are the first mountain in the country to install a wind turbine that will provide 100% of the mountain’s power needs. Therefore skiing all day at Berkshire East is like doing your environmental good deed for the day.
If you want the fastest chairs, ski in condos or high end restaurants then point your car towards Vermont. However, if you want to experience classic New England skiing on great trails then Berkshire East should be your destination.
Berkshire East has given me no incentive to write this review.