Fun Things to Do Near the Retreat at Norwich Lake

by Briann Newman

Summer is winding down and colder weather will be here before we know it, but there is still plenty to do near the Retreat at Norwich Lake that is perfect for the fall weather. There are activities to keep your whole family or church group busy during their stay when it is too chilly to spend the day on the lake.


Here are the top four things you can do around the Retreat at Norwich Lake as the weather starts to turn.


Apple PickingApple Picking

Spending the day at the apple orchard with your family is a staple of autumn fun and Massachusetts has no shortage of orchards to visit.  Just a short drive from the Retreat at the Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton, MA, the apple picking fun has already started, as they opened for the season this past Saturday. They have 45 different varieties of apple including Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and more. They also have other fruits such as peaches, plums, cherries, pears and a few varieties of berries.


While you’re there, make sure to check out their farm stand open 7 days a week starting August 11. There, they sell their best apples and fruit as well as other treats like soup, cheese, pies, cider donuts and their famous cider slushies.


To plan your day at the orchard during your stay at Retreat at Norwich Lake, visit their website at



There are so many beautiful hiking locations around the Retreat at Norwich Lake. You can hike directly on the property or travel off-site for some even more breathtaking locations.


One of the first locations you should check out is Goldmine Brook Falls. The waterfall is just a short distance off a major highway, but you would never find it without knowing what you were looking for. Once you do arrive at the falls, you will be greeted with a gorgeous multi-tiered waterfall.


You can also visit C.M. Gardner State Park for the day. There are plenty of hiking trails, as well as places to canoe, kayak or fish. There is also a picnic area perfect for your family or group to take a break and enjoy lunch.


Another place great for taking a hike is the Keystone Arch Bridges Trail. A 5 mile round trip hike with ancillary trails for a longer adventure. It is recommended to allow five hours for your hike. You can hike by yourself or go on one of the guided hikes for groups of 10-25 people. There are also great trails for mountain biking and the Westfield River is the perfect place for more daring kayakers with class IV rapids and up to 100 foot drops. Plan your day there at


KnightvilleKnightville Dam

The Knightville Dam is one of the most popular locations in the Berkshires to spend the day outdoors. The scenic view is perfect for hikes, biking or horseback riding. In the winter, skiing and snowmobiling are popular activities at the Knightville Dam. Less than 15 minutes away from the Retreat, it is a great way to spend a fall day.



Less than an hour from the Retreat at Norwich Lake, Springfield, Massachusetts is the perfect place to spend the day with your church group or family. There are the Springfield Museums, made up of the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and sculpture garden. Learn more about the museums and get your tickets at


SpringfieldFor sports enthusiasts, Springfield has the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Home for more than 300 inductees and 40,000 square feet full of the history of the game. Opened in 1959, the Basketball Hall of Fame will provide your family or group with a day full of fun learning about basketball and enjoying the interactive exhibits of skills challenges and shooting contests. Plan your day there at


No matter how you choose to spend the day with your church group or family, the Retreat at Norwich Lake is the perfect place to recoup. With suites, cabins and a large dining hall with kitchen access, there is plenty of room for your whole family or youth group to enjoy a meal, fellowship and rest after a long day of fun. End the day around the grand fireplace and grow closer to each other and to God.