New England is a popular destination for winter escapes. For some, spending a couple of days relaxing by the fireplace with a good book is the ideal break. But the southern Berkshires are bustling with activities for those who are looking for some adventure. Here are some ideas for a fun and memorable winter getaway in New England:
Enjoy the beauty of New England while hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing
Time outside is one of the best ways to take advantage of the New England winter. With 3 state parks plus more than 6,000 acres of preserved land in Great Mountain Forest, Norfolk offers dozens of scenic wooded trails for all levels. The view from the top of Haystack Mountain shouldn’t be missed and the 200 ft. waterfall at Campbell’s Falls is spectacular as the water freezes. Bartholomew’s Cobble in nearby Sheffield, MA offers fantastic mountain vistas and has snowshoes for rent on Sundays (weather permitting).
Go on a tasting tour of local craft breweries
With acres upon acres of farmland, the southern Berkshires is a natural home for an ever-growing number of craft breweries. Norbrook Farm Brewery is just 3 1/2 miles from the inn and has quickly become one of the area’s favorite watering holes. Norbrook offers tastings of their 8 specialty beers, including Dennis Hill Estate Saison, Ol’ Man McMullen’s Porter, and Haystack Ale Belgian Dubbel, in a lovely tasting room or by the outdoor fire pit. In addition to beer tastings, they have a disc golf course (open seasonally) and more than 10 miles of mountain biking and cross country skiing trails on their 472 acres.
Continue to Little Red Barn Brewers just a few miles east in Winsted. True to its name, two brothers started started this business in 2013 in a small red barn in Barkhamstead. In 2017, they opened a large tasting room in Winsted, where they offer a large selection of hand crafted brews, including Mad River Pilsner, Squires Tavern Ale, Rescue Red, Cow Tippin’ Copper Ale, Roll in the Hay Double IPA, and more. LRB is popular for live music and food from some of the best food trucks in New England.
Next, head to Great Falls Brewing Company, located in the recently refurbished Canaan train station west of the inn down Rt. 44. Great Falls offers 9 craft beers to please diverse beer tastes including Cascadia Farewell IPA, Derailed Brown Ale, Lazy Hazy Housy New England IPA and Canaan Mountain Lager in a fun brewpub complete with food from local eateries, dart boards, a foosball table, and their popular Sunday night trivia.
From Canaan, cross the MA border and make your way to Big Elm Brewing on historic Rt. 7 in Sheffield to taste a flight of their award-winning lagers and ales. Keep an eye on their calendar for special events such as Yoga and Beer (how awesome is that?!?) and beer release parties with live music.
Watch a curling game
Originating in Scotland in the 16th century, curling is one of the world’s oldest sports. One of only two curling clubs in Connecticut, the Norfolk Curling Club has been around since 1956 and is run by volunteers who are dedicated to teaching, developing and promoting the sport. There are games at the club almost every night from November to March and spectators are always welcome. Enjoy a drink from their casual bar while you watch a game through the glass. The club also offers “Learn to Curl” events throughout the season. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to play the game and actually play a few “ends.”
Get your groove on at Infinity Hall Norfolk
The stunning arts-and-crafts style building that is now Infinity Hall Norfolk was built in 1883 as a combination opera house, barbershop and saloon. Refurbished with a world-class sound system and incredible acoustics, Infinity Hall Norfolk opened in 2007 as an intimate music performance venue that seats just 300 people, enabling all attendees to get a “front row” feel. Infinity Hall Norfolk hosts more than 200 performances a year across all music genres. Grab your friends for an memorable night out!
Whether you’re looking for some quiet time to reconnect with your significant other or a fun activity-filled weekend with friends, you’ll make wonderful memories on your winter weekend escape at the Manor House Inn.