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Three major shortcuts are included in the route system. These shorten the route significantly and/or eliminate major climbs.
Turn north in West Stockbridge for the shortcut to the Shaker Village
Shortcut 1, from West Stockbridge to Richmond on Rte 41, eliminates the major loop of the ride through Stockbridge, Lee and Lenox, and the steep climb over Lenox Mountain. For riders traveling the route in both directions, this is a useful return route to save time. Riders who simply wish to avoid the climb may ride to Lee and Lenox and back, using the shortcut to connect to the north.
Naumkeag Estage, Stockbridge
Shortcut 2, from Stockbridge to Tanglewood in Lenox, is a useful return route for riders whose round trip includes only the southern half of the main route or who are also using shortcut 1. Shortcut 2 is very pleasant downhill riding southbound. It passes the Hawthorne house reconstruction and the Naumkeag estate. It is not recommended when concertgoers are entering or leaving Tanglewood.
Bicyclist on Route 7, Lanesborough
Shortcut 3, on U.S. Route 7 from Lanesborough to Green River Road in Williamstown, shortens the route by only a couple of miles, but it avoids the major climb over Brodie Mountain to Route 43. The section of Route 7 used for this shortcut was repaved in 1993 and has wide shoulders ideal for shared bicycle-motor vehicle use despite the relatively high traffic volume. The author observed numerous bicyclists using this part of Route 7 while surveying it.