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Hiking Bousquet Mountain in western MA, Nov. 2, 2023


Angel Diva
This is essentially a trip report that involves a little snow, but no skiing. @Ski Sine Fine and I had a great time hiking Bousquet Mountain on Nov. 2. After I picked her up in DC, we stayed in the Berkshires for a couple nights to break up the drive to Boston for Snowbound Expo 2023.

We were lucky and had good weather for the day we could go sightseeing. It was a bit cool, but sunny. We started at the Mt. Greylock Visitor Center, which is part of the Mt. Greylock State Park and open year round. The road to the top of Mt. Greylock closed for the season after Oct. 31 per usual. The first surprise was that there was snow on the ground. The next surprise was that we could see the upper trails of Bousquet Mountain in the distance from the Visitor Center. When we talked about driving over to check out the base of Bousquet, the ranger let us know that there is a hiking trail there.

View of Bousquet in the distance (left of the lake) from outside the Mt. Greylock Visitor Center
Bousquet from afar 02Nov2023.jpeg

When we got to Bousquet, which is in Pittsfield, MA, it was warm enough that we decided to give the hike a try. We had packed hiking boots and enough layers for a hike. I was glad I had a warm beanie to keep my ears warm and gloves.

Bottom line is that we had a great time. Read on for more about our hike and how Bousquet is re-emerging as a vibrant ski hill for local families.

Bousquet 02Nov2023 - 1.jpeg


Angel Diva
The trailhead for the Mahanna Cobble Trail is on the far side of the Bousquet parking lot. There were paper trail maps available, which was very helpful. I much prefer a paper map instead of messing with my phone when exploring a new trail. We hiked the well-marked trail to the top, then took a different way back that went to the top of the ski area. The hiking trail is about 1.5 mile and goes around lookers left along a green ski trail and up and around to the backside of the peak. There is a well-used connector trail to the Vista where we saw the most snow. The Vista is right next to the unloading pad for the main lift. The view was fantastic!

As we hiked up, even though the trail is well maintained there were enough rocks and leaves that we knew going back down would take some effort. It wasn't until we got to the top that I realized we could get to the top of the ski trails instead of re-tracing our steps. Walking in the snow in the trees was so much fun! After taking in the view, we walked down the easiest ski trail from the top, which is a blue. Some of the way is a gravel road and staying on the grass was simpler. That blue is relatively steep compared to our home region, the mid-Atlantic (VA, WV).

The Bousquet trail map shows double black trails that are probably seriously steep based on what the black trails looked like without snow. Like other small New England ski areas, kids who learn to ski at Bousquet probably are comfortable on the blues pretty quickly.

Turning onto the trail to the Vista
Bousquet hike Nov2023 - 1.jpeg

Reaching the top of the ski area, maintenance in progress
Bousquet 02Nov2023 - 3.jpeg

View from the Vista
Bousquet 02Nov2023 - 4.jpeg


Angel Diva
Bousquet Mountain has come a long way since I first stopped by the base in September 2016 during a trip to Boston where my daughter was in school. The new lodge opened in 2022 and it’s very well done. Not too surprising since the owner of Berkshire East, Jon Schaefer, was actively involved in the planning and early stages of getting Bousquet ready for the next era after the sale to a local group of investors in 2020.

June 2020

November 2020

June 2021 - new lift, lodge, snowmaking

Bousquet serves the local community. The programs for kids are impressive. There are camps during school breaks in December and February.

Bousquet added a midweek pass for 2023-24. Besides the unlimited Bousquet-only pass, it’s possible to get a Summit pass that’s also good at Berkshire East and Catamount. Bousquet pass holders can opt to get an Add-on Indy Pass, although Bousquet is not on Indy. However, Berkshire East, Catamount, and West Mountain are on Indy and are about an hour away (different directions).

Bousquet has 4-hour, 8-hour, and night tickets at reasonable rates. Except for the few trails in the trees, most of the terrain is lit for night skiing. The junior rate applies for ages 7-17. The senior rate starts at 60, and 80+ ski for free. Bousquet uses RFID cards for lift access.

Bousquet Mountain was started back in 1932 by Clarence J. “Clare” Bousquet. He began with rope tows. He installed lights for night skiing by 1936! The new lodge building makes Bousquet feel like a modern ski area that is not cutting corners anywhere. The local businessmen who have helped Bousquet to move forward are hopeful that the future will be bright for years to come.

Bousquet 02Nov2023 - 2.jpegBousquet trail map.jpg

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
I love hiking in cooler/cold weather. No heat, no bugs, and much better views. So Bousquet Mountain was an unexpected surprise on the trip. It was also my first time in the Berkshires. I’d love to go back and do fall colors.

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