In 2015 we were Liz Massa, Karen McTaggart and Rachel Lewis. Three Hilltown ladies who hiked, discovered and explored the Western Massachusetts region known as The Hilltowns which consists of 22 small towns with hundreds of thousands of acres for outdoor recreation. We went out year round hiking and sometimes bushwacking public conservation lands, enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
Friends and family started joining us on these adventures, and then friends of friends, our photos and maps were posted on social media, the local newspapers started publishing our photos….so we went public.
We wanted everyone to be able to see and participate in our hikes, whether it was on a trail or from home on the internet.
We incorporated as a non-profit in 2019 and purchased 10 acres of 61B recreational land open to the public in Chester abutting DCR and Hilltown Land Trust property which includes the Chester Blandford State Forest, Round Top Hill (highest point in Hampden County) and sections of the Unkamit’s Path and Highlands Footpath.
We now partner activities with the DCR, The Trustees, Hilltown Land Trust, Appalachian Mountain Club, Friends of the Keystone Arches, Berkshire Natural Resources, Westfield Wild and Scenic and more. We helped form the Hilltown Outdoor Stewardship Alliance HOSA to collaborate with other outdoor organizations to volunteer trail work and protect our natural resources.
I am Liz, Director of Parks and Trails for the Town of Chester and the Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway. Sharing the natural beauty of our Hilltowns with all of you is what I enjoy most!
So happy to find your organization. Just purchased a home away from home (from Long Beach NY) in Middlefield and looking forward to joining one of your hikes. I have been visiting the family home of a friend for 15 years and fell in love with its natural beauty and serenity. Thank you for organizing hikes and sharing your experience online.
That is exactly what happened to me! I rented a home for a weekend…..now here I am !