Where is the best place to see the sunrise in the Berkshires?
Photo by Randy Duchaine / Alamy Stock
Berkshire residents know that few sights are more glorious than a brilliant spring sunrise after the long, dark winter. Mohawk Park just east of the county line off Route 2 in Charlemont is a place that has celebrated these golden rays every day in every season since 1932. The “Hail to the Sunrise” statue of a Native American reaches forth to the east, head lifted, arms outstretched, awaiting the sun or whatever nature brings.
A group called the Fraternal Order of Redmen commissioned sculptor Joseph Pollia to create this noble likeness of a member of the Mohawk tribe 85 years ago, and the statue has greeted the morning more than 30,000 times. Weighing about 900 pounds and perched atop a nine-ton boulder, some think the sculpture appears warlike. But an inscription and a nearby reflecting pool suggest a celebration of peace among the tribes. Though not the place of first light in the Berkshires, Mohawk Park offers an unusual venue for enjoying the sunrise.
Peter Tomyl, president of the Mohawk Trail Association, says that he often receives inquiries about the statue, which remains one of the top attractions on the scenic highway. Many visitors are moved to tears at the thought of failed relations between white settlers and members of a friendly tribe. Couples with Native American heritage have come here to be married, and many stop for photo ops. Mohawk Park sunrises come with special meaning, but wherever you observe sunup in the Berkshires, it is guaranteed to be spectacular.