Garden Visit–Bartholomew’s Cobble

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I visited this amazing place two weeks ago with the Garden Writers. It was the same day that I visited Naumkeag and The Mount.

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Until I got the itinerary for our day trip to the Berkshires, I had never heard of Bartholomew’s Cobble. And from what I could gather, most of my fellow trip attendees hadn’t heard of it either. The name was strange to us and we weren’t quite sure what we would find there. I kept referring to it as “the place with the ferns.”

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Well, yes. Even in a drought year, it has the most amazing assortment of ferns, including some found no where else in North America (if I have that right). But that’s not all this place is.

First take a look at their web site, found here.  If you click on the tab “history” and open the “archives” you can see a list of everything found here and it’s impressive. The spring wildflowers alone would be worth a return visit.

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But even for those not interested in plants there is much to do here. There is canoeing on the Housatonic River. There are nature programs for children. And for geology buffs, this place is a hidden gem.

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I, of course am a gardener, but one of my childhood interest was in rocks. So I was quite interested to learn that the Berkshires is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world (who knew?) It is still being eroded (which is why it is relatively gentle–here in Connecticut we refer to our part of the range as hills). Parts of the range have been found as far away as Kansas.

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The entire area is over 300 acres with several trails. There is a beaver dam, woodland trails, meadow trails and trails that oversee agricultural vistas. In short, there is something for almost everyone, although light to moderate hiking ability is required. (I noticed a remark on one of the other web sites that “hand rails for seniors would be a good idea.”  I will remark that several folks in my group turned back on the trail we were on despite the presence of hand rails at this place.)

If ability permits, this place is well worth a visit, as the view, and the foliage are definitely spectacular. I can only imagine what they would be like were we not in drought!

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