View Full Version : Stockbridge, MA - Suggestions for "tripod friendly" locations

Bob Mann
21-Apr-2016, 12:20
Going to spend a few days in Stockbridge, MA next month and will have some time to get out shooting - I would be drawn to landscapes, gardens, old buildings, streams, ponds, railroads, bridges, and waterfalls. Looking for suggestions for public places that are "tripod friendly" - I don't mind an admission fee if necessary. Not looking to hike any distance for health reasons, but I do have a stroller to haul my stuff over flat terrain.

21-Apr-2016, 12:48
Bob, you might check out Housatonic, MA. Stockbridge is nice, but a bit too touristy, IMHO.

Housatonic is a very sleepy place just down the road from Stockbridge. Some old abandoned buildings, railroad tracks and re-purposed station house, water tower, gas station, mural on building, older houses, even a shiny silver trailer parked by the tracks, and some interesting landscape. There's also an old paper mill in the vicinity outside of the town - Rising Paper.

There may be some 'No Trespassing' signs to be mindful of around the tracks but wander about. You won't need to go for any long hike - you're sure to find something in walking distance from where you park. Unlikely anyone will bother you, that is, if anyone is even around !

Have fun.


21-Apr-2016, 12:52
It's a fairly touristy area, so you will probably find plenty within a reasonable distance. I've driven through it a few times and stayed nearby. Lots of old buildings. Lots of woods and intimate landscape. Not much grand landscape. It's not crowded enough that tripods would be a problem.

If you like motorsports, it's pretty close to Limerock Park; so check their schedule for what's happening at their idyllic motorsports facility.

Great barrington has an abandoned fairground which it appears some people are trying to slowly fix up; that appeals to me.

Stockbridge is home to what was the famous "Alice's restaurant".

North of there in Pittsfield is the Berkshire Museum which has pictorialist George Seeley's stuff; I have not visited there and have no idea if any of it is on exhibit.

Ken Lee
21-Apr-2016, 13:06

Just drive around and let something find you. This photo was made just outside of downtown Stockbridge.

Oren Grad
21-Apr-2016, 13:56
The Trustees of Reservations (http://www.thetrustees.org), the Massachusetts Audubon Society (http://www.massaudubon.org/) and the Commonwealth (http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/places-to-go/massparks-regions-west-lc.html) have a variety of conservation properties in the area, with a range of man-made and natural features and trails at various levels of difficulty.

I'll add, if you love twisty roads through the woods, the Berkshires landscape is wonderful. But it is pretty hilly, and if you're walking back roads you need to watch carefully for cars zipping through on warp drive. If you have mobility limitations, the town centers and some of the conservation properties with suitable features and defined parking areas may be your best bet.

21-Apr-2016, 17:38
Beautiful area my wife is from Stockbridge her family home is #4 prospect hill We sold it to the Catholic Church a few years ago it just across the street from Naumkeg there is a great view of the valley the house is a 2nd Empire style home they call it a summer cottage 14 baths and 12 bedrooms called Bonnie Brae very photogenic I am sure the fathers will let you if you ask . Tell you know the original family

Oren Grad
21-Apr-2016, 17:58
Naumkeag itself (one of the Trustees properties) is cool, but the grounds are situated on a steep hillside so it can be a bit taxing to get around. The grounds have been undergoing a long-overdue, slow-motion reconstruction/restoration for a while now, though it looks as though they may be nearing the end:


Louie Powell
22-Apr-2016, 04:14
Stockbridge is home to what was the famous "Alice's restaurant".

Actually, I think Alice's Restaurant was in Great Barrington, another interesting town about ten miles away.

I live just across the line in New York, so wife and I get into that area frequently. In fact, we were there just last Saturday.

This area ist just starting to wake up from the winter, and the tourist hoards haven't arrived yet. So tripod use iis probably no a major problem.

There are many photo destinations - the Red Lion of course (a hotel/restaurant that has been in operation since the late 1700's and that knows a thing or two about hospitality), Naumkeag, the Normal Rockwell Museum, Chesterwood (home/studio of sculpter Daniel Chester French), Tanglewood, etc. But I've also found the area one where setting up a tripod on the sidewalk to shoot street scenes works very well. Stockbridge is a small town - the 'downtown' is only about a block. Great Barrington and Lenox are larger and more diverse. Others have mentioned Housatonic. I don't know if you can get into the Rising Mill (the place where Rising Stonehenge paper, a classic favorite in the Pt/Pd world, was made). There is an abandoned iron furnace in Richmond - its not on any tourist map, so you will need to ask a local how to find it. A bit further North there is Williamstown and Williamstown College. Also the Clark Art Museum - a hidden jewel. And from there its a short hop to North Adams and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in an old mill complex. Don't know which is more interesting = the art or the buildings.

Bob Mann
22-Apr-2016, 05:46
Thanks for all the information - looks like my "problem" has switched from too much time and no place to use it, to too many places and not enough time to get to them in a few days. :)

David Schaller
22-Apr-2016, 07:31
An hour further north is Williamstown, where I live. The Clark Institute is well worth a visit, as is Mass MOCA, in North Adams, if it's raining. The Clark is surrounded by bucolic beauty, and MassMOCA by urban decay. If you want to reload your holders in a darkroom, give me a shout.

25-Apr-2016, 18:48
Tourist trap, eh? Understandable. Norman Rockwell and Charles Adams, among many luminaries, lived there. So did I, from the time I was not yet 1, in 1952, till 1957. Long before I ever thought of a photographic career. My father taught at Tanglewood in the summer. Those were the days when old, old Mr. Carey still took the mail from the train station to the post office every day in his horse-drawn wagon. We used to watch the sunsets from our west-facing front porch. Life was good, people were good.
I don't know what may be in West Stockbridge or Interlaken now, but around the Bowl and Tanglewood, assuming access is available, there must be great potential in the early and evening hours. There are surely still many historic houses around Stockbridge as well.
Google maps seems to show our one-time farmhouse having been demolished in the past few years; the big loop driveway no longer shows either. Right along Rte 287--sorry, rather, 183, a short walk down to the Bowl through the woods.If anyone passes through, I'd be interested to know -- wait! There's a new map...