Mahanna Cobble May 2019
I heard about this great Berkshire Natural Resources Trail on the Lenox/Pittsfield border and even though a new, more formal trail is in the works it was a “the mountains are calling and I must go” event. This trail started at the Bousquet Ski Area in Pittsfield, we found our way to the access road behind the waterslide, not your typical start. Within five minutes of extreme uphill climbing I turned around and the view of Greylock was amazing so I was already happy. I had directions from friends who had found the trail, second left into the woods there would be a trail after a good fifteen minute almost vertical climb. Made our way over stone steps through the woods climbing at all times until we reached a blue blazed trail crossing through, this was the Yokun Ridge Trail, if we had taken a left it was the vista trail but we continued straight up to a grassy summit and was caught in a deer stampede. We crossed then the blue blazed trail again and took a right to climb higher at that point there was signage directing us to the summit of Mahanna Cobble where we found George Wislocki’s stone bench, the founder of the BNRC. Awe inspiring views of Monument Mountain and the ridge, completely breathtaking at 1,896 feet. We decided that the quickest way to get back would be to follow the blue blazed Yokun Ridge Trail towards the ski area, it was very hot and we climbed for the last hour plus. The remainder of this trail was relatively flat, we passed more signage pointed to our right “West Mtn. Rd.” (this was the loop we should of taken to get us back to the starting point) and straight to “Bousquet Secret Trail”. Continuing straight we crossed onto Osceda Mountain, a cell tower, and then open at the top of the ski area. WOW. just WOW. Open views for miles to Mount Greylock, Lake Onata, Pittsfield and the Taconics. Followed the ski trail extreme downhill back to the parking lot, the view was so amazing I hardly felt the pain in my legs of course until I reached my truck at the bottom. Rubber band legs for five days, this is an extremely difficult hike to say it simply…..you must go!
Yokun Ridge North March 2019
We wanted to find the vista on the ridge, that black dotted trail that is shown coming off the Burbank Trail to the right. We head out from Chester and its sunny and warm and of course foggy, cloudy and cool up at Olivia’s Overlook with ice and snow. We hiked the ridge of the Burbank trail, take a left at the fork. Where the loop continues downhill to the pine forest section of the trail, we went straight on a logging road the scenery changed to mostly mountain laurel and hardwoods then dropped steeply downhill, we realized we were approaching watershed land and heading to the Lenox Reservoir. Turned around went back up and of course we at that point noticed mountain bike tire tracks and a footpath veering off in the right direction. Noticed there was a cairn at the turnoff on the way back. This footpath is amazing! mostly large rock base with rolling hills, in about fifteen minutes after walking through two small gorges we saw the most amazing sight! Vista overlooks Parsons March, and straight down the valley East. Two hours for the full trip, Burbank Trail loop and vista trail visit.
Monterey Land Trust February 2019
Just over the Otis town line on M. Hunger Road is a lovely hidden gem of a trail. We found a large parking area at the kiosk and started from there passing a huge rock formation and then through winding trails full of stone formations and a diversified forest. First vista is all vista! Views are on both sides of the trail of Lee, the Catskills and the Western Hilltowns as you walk, we found two actual viewing vistas, both incredible, one on a giant rock. We explored down the mountain as well and found a few loops and deer ran in front of us across a lower trail. This is a two to three hour hike however there are sections of this conservation area we did not get to in one day, so we are going back of course. At the parking lot we were told to take a right and walk briefly down Mt. Hunger Road to another trail entrance which has a breathtaking ten foot high rock face wall to hike on top of, and even further down the road there is a complete lower trail with ponds.