Embrace Berkshire Winters with The Clark's Project Snowshoe

By Taylor Staubach - Berkshire Family Hikes January 20, 2021

Berkshire Winters. Not everybody is a fan. For those of us who don't ski, snowboard, skate, or just plain don't like the cold; it can be a long few months. With cooped-up Covid taking its toll, maybe this is the year you embrace the snow and try something new?! Ever wanted to try out snowshoeing but didn't want to invest in pricey equipment? Let me tell you about Project Snowshoe. 

During snow season, Stone Hill at the Clark becomes a winter wonderland! Borrow a pair of complimentary snowshoes and explore 140-acres of pristine landscape. Hit up the equipment rack at the Manton Research Center, strap on some snowshoes, hike, take pictures, share them with #clarkart, and leave a note in the snowshoe journal!

The Clark offers a few suggestions to prepare for your snowy adventure:

  • Snowshoeing is an enjoyable, but physically demanding, activity. Make certain that you are in good physical condition and able to complete your full route.
  • For your safety: dress for winter weather conditions, carry a water bottle and/or snacks, take a phone with you, and take a copy of our trail map. Always hike with a companion.
  • In an emergency, call the Clark’s Security Office at 413 458 0412.
  • Help us maintain this activity: if any equipment looks damaged, notify the Clark’s staff and do not use it.
  • Please rehang your equipment when finished using it.
  • Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The Clark has three sizes of snowshoes, suitable for the following approximate weight ranges:
    • Small: 75 – 120 lbs
    • Medium: 120 – 175 lbs
    • Large: 175 – 225 lbs

Here are some beginner snowshoe tips from The Clark:

1. Staying upright: If snowshoeing on packed snow, walk with a wider stance than you usually would to allow room for your wide snowshoes. When snowshoeing on deep powder, lift your knees higher than you normally would to prevent tripping.

2. Turning: Making a turn requires you to be mindful of your big snowshoes. To avoid tripping, lift your knee high before turning your foot in the direction you'd like to go.

3. Traversing, or “side-hilling”: You can avoid steep ascents and descents and rugged terrain by working your way back and forth across the side of a hill. To keep your balance, dig the uphill-facing side of the snowshoes into the snow and keep your weight on the uphill foot.

My additional tip: Pack a thermos of hot cocoa and a blanket and enjoy a warm drink while taking in the views of the snowy mountains!

Visit for more information on Project Snowshoe, visits to the grounds and the galleries. 

Equipment is made available for use at your own risk. The Clark’s grounds are home to a number of wild animalsdon’t attempt to touch them. For additional details, see the legal disclaimer.