New Outdoor Self-Guided Tours
In response to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bidwell House Museum has created a new “Outside-the-House Tour” for visitors. The Museum’s gardens and grounds are open every day, free of charge, and we invite you to come to the Museum to explore the trails, view the stunning gardens, and learn more about life in the 18th century Berkshires. We have created a brand new map of the grounds along with a history primer so you can learn as you walk and understand the story of the house, the history of the land, and the significance of various features of the property. These materials are free though donations are appreciated to cover the cost of the printing.
We also have a treasure hunt for kids in which all of the answers can be found in the primer or on the grounds. On the Museum’s front porch, you will find the maps, the history primer, and the treasure hunt along with a map of our Native American Trail and our basic trail map. Cell service is limited at the Museum so if you prefer to download any of these materials before visiting you can do that below and on our Trails page.
Seld-Guided Walk Along the Native American Interpretive Trail
In 2018 the Museum, in cooperation with the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Indians and the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, created a new interpretive trail that retraces the steps of the Native Americans—specifically the local Stockbridge Band of the Mohican Tribe—who lived and hunted in this area for thousands of years. Originally four stops, in 2020 this self-guided walk will take you to eight stops on the property with educational displays at each stop that tell the story of the Native American presence on this land. Maps for this hike can be found at the parking kiosk or downloaded below. The new eight-stop map is coming soon. Occasionally we offer guided versions of this hike, so check our events page to see when the next hike is scheduled.
You can learn more about the Native American history of this land HERE.
**We are hoping to offer house tours later in the 2021 season. Stay tuned for updates**
Led by our head docent or one of our trained interns, on this tour visitors will learn about the history of the house, the story of the Bidwell family, and life in the 18th century Berkshire Hills. The tour begins outside with a discussion of the architecture and grounds and then moves inside for a tour of the first and second floors of the house. For those visitors unable to climb stairs, we now have the option for guests to watch the tour of the 2nd floor on a tablet.