Group Hike Schedule


January 18, 2020 10:00 am Sanderson Brook Falls Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike Sanderson Brook Falls in Chester

GPS Location: 42.2562N, 72.9468W Hike Rating: Easy with some slopes 1.25 Mile In and Back
The Chester-Blandford State Forest includes remnants of small mining operations and the 60-foot cascade at Sanderson Brook Falls. It is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The state forest was established in 1924 when local lumber companies sold land to the state. The Civilian Conservation Corps was active in the forest from 1934 to 1940. Their work included the construction of a campground, pavilions, trails, ski runs, and the road and bridges that lead to Sanderson Brook Falls. The trail is gravel and wide which gently climbs upward. We cross three girder bridges and follow along Sanderson Brook then take the narrower trail to the right which takes us to the bottom of the waterfall. Be prepared for ice, snow and mud; bring walking sticks and spikes if there is snow on the ground.
Park at Sanderson Brook Falls parking lot across from Bannish Lumber on Route 20 in Chester. Meet in the parking lot where the trail begins. For more information email westernmasshilltownhikers@aol.com
Plan for two hours hike time. Maps and bottle water will be provided. Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail. Full hike details are on Facebook and the website. Dogs are welcome! No registration required, hike is free, donations are appreciated! Please keep our beautiful places clean and carry in and carry out.
Maps and bottled water will be provided. Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail. Dogs are welcome! No registration required, hike is free, donations are welcome!

Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike at Littleville Lake in Huntington
Saturday February 22nd at 10:00 am

GPS Location: 42.2671N, 72.8750W Hike Rating: Easy with some slopes 1.25 Mile Loop
Huntington Walks is the newest walking/hiking map in Huntington. Join us and the Huntington COA to hike two of the 14 mapped routes in town!
Littleville Lake is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers and offers 1,567 acres of outdoor recreational activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, and fishing (including ice fishing) on the 280-acre lake. Miles of roads and the Eagle Ridge Trail provide opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. The hundreds of acres of hemlock, pine and mixed hardwoods are managed by Corps personnel to provide timber and fuel wood, improve wildlife habitat and to insure water quality. Wildlife is abundant in the forests fields and waters. Many species of birds including bluebirds, ospreys and turkey vultures have been seen at Littleville Lake. Littleville Lake is located at 32 Goss Hill Road, Huntington, MA 01050. Be prepared for ice and snow, bring spikes and walking sticks. For more information email westernmasshilltownhikers@aol.com
Plan for two hours hike time. Maps and bottle water will be provided. Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail. Full hike details are on Facebook and the website. Dogs are welcome! No registration required, hike is free, donations are appreciated! Please keep our beautiful places clean and carry in and carry out.
Maps and bottled water will be provided. Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail. Dogs are welcome! No registration required, hike is free, donations are welcome!


Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike The Boulders in Dalton
Saturday March 28th at 10:00 am

GPS Location: GPS: 42.469782, -73.196226 (trailhead parking on Dalton Avenue) Hike Rating: Easy with some slopes       Approx. 5 miles total with several loops

The 645 acres of The Boulders provide more than six miles of trails plus the dramatic boulders that give the area its name and offer a vista to the west. There are four blazed trails through hemlock forest, wetlands, large trees and a fern-filled forest floor. An old wood road leads you to the Boulders summit. The bedrock of this property is primarily pelitic rock; a metamorphosed fine-grained sedimentary rock.  The large outcrops on the boulders ridge show part of a concentric arcing called a “lunate fracture.” These form as an interaction between ice, pressure, and a very hard rock like the quartzite found here. In 2015 Crane and Company donated The Boulders property to the BNRC.  What is amazing is that this property is located within the city limits of Pittsfield, yet when you are on the trails it doesn’t seem that way.  The land use history of this property has resulted in diverse forests including large and old trees. This makes for a memorable experience no matter which route you take. Find out more about the Berkshire Natural Resources Council at http://www.BNRC.org.The trail is wide in most places and sometimes rocky; an old woods road gently climbs upward on the summit section.  Be prepared for ice, snow and mud; bring walking sticks and spikes.Park at the trailhead parking area at the corner of Dalton Avenue/Hubbard Avenue in Dalton.  Meet in the parking lot where the trail begins.  For more information email westernmasshilltownhikers@aol.com.  Plan for two hours hike time.  We start up the trail at 10am.  Maps and bottled water will be provided.    Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail.     Dogs are welcome! No registration required, hike is free, donations are welcome!

Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike The Becket Quarry in Becket
Saturday April 18th at 10:00 am

GPS Location: 42.252010, -73.019854
Hike Rating: Moderate, Quarry option includes stone steps       Approx. 4 miles total with options
The acquisition of the site was the result of an extraordinary community fund-raising campaign to save a 300+ acre parcel of primarily wooded land from industrial development. To prevent detrimental impact on the site and the community, local citizens donated money to enable the Becket Land Trust to purchase the property and open the site to the public for recreational enjoyment. The quarry, known during its operating days as the Chester-Hudson Quarry, played a key role in the early development of the Town of Becket and the surrounding area. Granite from this quarry was used for monuments in many states. The quarry was operational from the 1860’s to the 1960’s. Find out more about the The Becket Land Trust at www.becketlandtrust.org
Park at the trailhead parking area on Quarry Road in Becket.  Meet in the parking lot where the trail begins.   We will hike around the quarry and the woods trails to visit the history of the quarry with an option to hike up to the vista.
For more information email westernmasshilltownhikers@aol.com.  Plan for two hours hike time.  We start up the trail at 10am.  Full hike details are on Facebook and the website.
Maps and bottled water will be provided.    Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail.     Dogs are welcome! No registration required, hike is free, donations are welcome! Long and short sleeve tees, hoodies and hats will be for sale at the hike. I will have my complete catalog of printed hiking maps there too.
Hilltown Hikers is a member of the Hilltown Outdoor Stewardship Alliance  Learn more at http://www.HilltownOSA.com  For more hike information email  westernmasshilltownhikers@aol.com or call/text 413-302-0312.   Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.  #westernmasshilltownhikers.  Events, maps and photos located at www.westernmasshilltownhikers.com Please keep our beautiful places clean and carry in and carry out.

Past Group Hikes

December 14, 2019 10:00 am Nobleview Outdoor Center in Russell
Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike Nobleview in Russell
Saturday December 14th at 10:00 am
GPS Location: 42.13511 -72.86120
Hike Rating: Easy with some slopes 2.7 Mile Loop Trail
We will hike the Pitcher Brook – Laurel Lane Circuit. For those who are interested in the history of days long gone, this hike offers an opportunity to view two old cellar holes. On the left (northwest) of Laurel Lane, before reaching Charcoal Kiln Trail, you will pass a site known as the Pendleton-Snow Place. An atlas of Hampden County shows buildings standing at this site in 1912. There are two wells to search for, one near the house site and one on the opposite side of Laurel Lane where presumably the old barn stood. Pitcher Brook Trail passes through pleasant woods with laurel and blueberries in season, crosses Ann’s Trail, then the Border Trail and descends to the gorge of Pitcher Brook with its swift water, deep pools and two waterfalls called *Big Pitcher* and *Little Pitcher*.
Nobleview is located at 635 South Quarter Road in Russell 01071. More info at http://www.nobleviewoutdoorcenter.org Plan for two hours hike time. Maps and bottle water will be provided. Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail. Full hike details are on Facebook and the website. Dogs are welcome! No registration required, hike is free, donations are appreciated! Please keep our beautiful places clean and carry in and carry out.
November 16, 2019 10:00 am Knittel Conservation Area in Blandford
Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike the Knittel Conservation Area in Blandford
Saturday November 16th at 10:00 am
GPS Location: 42.16996, -72.92859
Hike Rating: Easy with some slopes 2 Mile Loop Trail
The Knittel Conservation Area in Blandford is a 254-acre tract comprised of fields, forest and Falls Brook. Several trails wind through the property on both sides of Herrick Road. We will pass through different and interesting types of forest and around a pond with beaver dams. The conservation area helps protect the water supply of 250,000 people and preserve the rural setting for a working farm. Located at the end of Herrick Road, the parcel has been home to the Herrick family farm for generations. The area feeds the Cobble Mountain Reservoir, which serves as the drinking water supply for Springfield, Ludlow, Agawam, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, and parts of Southwick and Westfield.
Meet at the Trailhead on 26 Herrick Road in the parking lot/side of road. Take Route 23 to 26 Herrick Rd in Blandford. Plan for two hours to loop the entire trail.
This hike is co-sponsored by the Jacob’s Ladder Business Association: jlba.org and the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center: shaec.org
Saturday October 19th at 10:00 am
Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike at Norwich Lake in Huntington
GPS Location: 42.30167, -72.83132
Hike Rating: Easy some slopes/rocks/roots 1 mile to lake or 2.5 Mile Woods Loop Trail to Lake
With 97 acres of forest, trails, and lake access, even horses, The Retreat at Norwich Lake has a lot to explore. Come hike a few of the trails with the Friends of SHAEC and Western Mass Hilltown Hikers, as we team up to celebrate SHAEC’s 20 years of adult education in the Hilltowns. Donations for Friends of SHAEC will be accepted the day of the hike, or in advance on SHAEC’s website: http://www.shaec.org. Prizes will be awarded to the highest donors. There are two trail options to hike one through the forest easy sloping rocky walk to the lake and the other a 2 mile old Norwich village forest trip where we will see old foundations, cellar holes, stone walls and two impressive dams and then loop back down to the lake.
The Retreat is at 128 Norwich Lake in Huntington. Turn off of Route 66 in Huntington onto Searle Rd. When you get to the fork (aprox 1.7 miles) Turn right onto Rocky Point Rd. Destination will be on the left in aprox 7/10ths of a mile. Plenty of parking. Call or email Michele at SHAEC for more information 413-354-1055.
Learn more about The Retreat at Norwich Lake on their website: http://www.retreatatnorwichlake.org
Plan for two hours hike time. This hike will be the one mile yellow/blue blazed trail to the lake, more experienced hikers can choose to hike the2.5 mile orange blazed woods trail and then loop back to the lake. Both hikes start at the “Field of Dreams” follow the signs from the parking lot. Maps and bottle water will be provided. Please be aware that there are no facilities at the trail. Park at the Norwich Retreat Parking Lot. Hike will start in the parking lot. GPS: 42.30167, -72.83132 Full hike details are on Facebook and our website.
October 12, 2019 10:00 am Keystone Arch Bridges Trail in Chester/Becket/Middlefield
Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike at the Keystone Arch Bridges Trail
Saturday October 12th at 10:00 am
Hike Rating: Moderate some slopes, bridge crossing
Join us for the 6th Annual Hike of the historic Keystone Arch Bridge Trail in Chester. The hike will be narrated by Dave Pierce of the Friends of the Keystone Arches.
This is the biggest hiking event of the year! Enjoy Dave’s incredible narration as he tells of the history of the Arch’s creation. Dave Pierce, Chester Foundation President and myself, Liz Massa, Director of Parks and Trails in Chester will lead hikers through three towns, Chester, Becket and Middlefield. We will hike the entire Keystone Arch Trail to the last bridge in Bancroft at the end of the trail. Located on the West Branch of the Westfield River, the first cluster of stone arch RR bridges were built in America. They range in height to 70 feet and made possible the longest and highest railroad in the world, the Western Railroad, in 1840. Come learn the history of this amazing bridges trail while we get an up close experience.
Estimated hike time is 3 hours. The trail is 2.5 miles in and back totaling 5 miles. You can easily spend 5 hours on the trail exploring; make a day of it if you wish. We will be able to hike across side trails for vista views of most of the arches. Although the trail is easily traveled and well-marked, be prepared for mud.
Park at Chester Elementary School, 325 Middlefield Road and walk up to the trailhead. We will be shuttling hikers from the school lot to the trail head, please arrive early! Shuttle will start at 9am. Hike will start at the trailhead at 10 am. Full hike details are on Facebook and our website. The Chester Railway museum on just down the road on Prospect Street will be open before and after the hike! Please stop in and see all the history of the railroad and Arches! You may pick up snacks or enjoy breakfast/ lunch in Chester at the following locations: The Chester Common Table, or the Classic Pizza Blue Note Cafe, all located on Main Street, or The Chester Village Market, on Route 20. This hike is co-sponsored by the Jacob’s Ladder Business Association: jlba.org and the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center: shaec.org.
http://www.keystonearches.com http://www.chesterrailwaystation.net
September 21, 2019 10:00 am H. Newman Marsh Trail in Chester
GPS Location: 42.25618, -72.94677
Hike Rating: Moderate with Uphill Climbing and Steep Descent.
Join us for a beautiful mountain trek along the H. Newman Marsh Memorial Trail on Observation Hill in the Chester-Blandford State Forest in Chester, named after the outdoorsman and patron of the hilltowns who made the Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway (route 20) what it is today. We will make a steep climb up to Observation Hill, cross a brook then travel through pine forest and discover three major vistas at approximately 1200 feet with awe inspiring views of the Westfield River Valley then loop back down the hill. We will see out croppings of schist rock, different types of forest, fern, bear claw markings, and wildflowers. About a million years ago, a series of glaciers scraped the mountains. Some of the bedrock resisted the ersion and became the steeper hills of the valley. The scenic hills exposed today are the walls of the great conyon of the Westfield River.
This is a loop trail, with a round-trip length of 1.5 miles. Hike rating is Moderate with Uphill Climbing and Steep Descent with rock steps and roots. Plan for two hours for the hike.
Meet in the parking lot of the Chester-Blandford State Forest, look out for Bannish Lumber on Route 20 which is located opposite the parking lot. The trailhead is on Sanderson Brook Road inside the State Forest. There are many other trails located in the Chester-Blandford State Forest to enjoy as well including Sanderson Brook Falls, Dynamite Box, Beulah Land, and the CCC Trail.
June 29, 2019 10:00 am Tyringham Cobble
July 27, 2019 10:00 am Clam River in Sandisfield
August 10, 2019 10:00 am Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale
May 11, 2019 10:00 am Bob’s Way in Otis
May 4, 2019 10:00 am Littleville Lake 5K Hike/Walk Fundraiser in Huntington with SHAEC
April 27, 2019 10:00 am Round Top Hill in Chester with Hilltown Land Trust
March 30, 2019 10:00 am Dynamite Box Chester/Blandford
February 23, 2019 Griffin Brook Road

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