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RI Archives: Rural Road Trips

View past Historic Homes, Museums and Gardens articles.

View all past Rural Road Trip articles.


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Rural Intelligence

Historic Homes, Museums & Gardens

Adams, MA
Susan B. Anthony Birthplace & Museum

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Montgomery Place
A 434-acre intact Hudson River Valley estate

Athens, NY

Howard Hall Farm a laboratory for restoration training

Austerlitz, NY

Old Austerlitz

Germantown, NY

Clermont an early Hudson River estate


Olana
Home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church

Hudson, NY

The American Museum of Firefighting

Hyde Park, NY


Home of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Vanderbilt Mansion relic of the Gilded Age

Kent, CT

Sloane Stanley Museum artist’s studio and tool collection

Kinderhook, NY

U. S. President Martin Van Buren house

Lenox, MA


The Mount Edith Wharton’s estate and gardens

Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio Cubist paintings in a Modernist house

Ventfort Hall the Gilded Age Museum

New Lebanon, NY

Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon

Pittsfield, MA

Hancock Shaker Village

Arrowhead home of Herman Melville.

Rhinebeck, NY

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome aircraft and auto museum; air shows


Wilderstein Historic Site elaborate Queen-Anne style house of the Suckleys. 

Poughkeepsie, NY

Locust Grove home of Samuel F.B. Morse

Sheffield, MA

Ashley House c. 1735 house; oldest in Berkshire County

Staatsburgh, NY

Mills Mansion house remodeled in Beaux Arts style by McKim, Mead & White

Stockbridge, MA

Chesterwood Estate & Museum home of Lincoln memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French

Mission House 1739 house with Colonial Revival garden


Naumkeag McKim, Mead & White summer cottage and gardens

Williamstown, MA

The Folly at Field Farm Modernist house and sculpture garden

[See more Historic Homes, Museums and Gardens articles]

Road Trips: The Wildflower Festival At Bartholomew’s Cobble

By Amy Krzanik

April showers bring May flowers, but to a very special area of Berkshire County they bring flowers even earlier than that. At Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield, Mass., a National Natural Landmark under the care of the Trustees of Reservations, the best showing of wildflowers is beginning right now.

To call attention to this unique property and its bounty of spring ephemerals, the Trustees have planned the first annual Spring Wildflower Festival, running April 16—May 6. Three guided tours a day will lead guests past white and red trilliums, spring beauty, bloodroot, toothwort, wild ginger, blue cohosh and violets. 

Brian Cruey, The Trustees’ general manager for the Southern Berkshires, says the festival is aimed at making people more aware of what’s happening right in their own backyard. “The Cobble is a national landmark because of its plants; its chemistry and the rock outcropping are really conducive to these early blooming flowers. When you think of seeing wildflowers, you usually think of open, grassy fields, and you don’t think of early April and May being the time to find them. Here, they occur in the forests and they take advantage of this time of year when temperatures start to rise but leaves haven’t yet come out to block sunlight from reaching the forest floor.”

When the season is over, the plants will lie dormant until the following year. You can find them throughout New England, but not with the density and variety in which they occur at the Cobble.

In addition to tours, the Festival will include watercolor painting classes every Thursday, spring vacation week events for kids, a search for spring peepers and vernal pools, and a closing night bonfire.

But your Festival visit should be only the first of many trips here throughout the year. The Cobble is a great place for birders; boasts one of the best open views in the county from its highest point, Hurlburt’s Hill; and runs along the Housatonic River, where the Trustees will hold guided kayaking tours beginning in June.

Spring Wildflower Festival
April 16—May 6  
Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield

(413) 298-3239, Ext. 3013
Daily tours: 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Tours: member $5; non-member $10
See website for additional events during the festival and beyond.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 04/12/16 at 10:18 AM • Permalink