Group Hike Schedule

June 29, 2019 10:00 am Tyringham Cobble

Tyringham Cobble is a 206-acre open space reservation at 1,348 ft elevation on Cobble Hill in The Berkshires. It is managed by The Trustees of Reservations, and is notable for its scenic views over the rural landscape of Tyringham Valley from rocky ledges and open fields. The reservation consists of the hill and surrounding agricultural and pasture land. In 2008, part of the Appalachian Trail was routed over the summit ledges. In the early 19th century Cobble Hill was largely cleared of forests to make room for agriculture and pasture by Shaker settlers. The property remained in agricultural use after the Shakers had departed, until the 1930s when Olivia Cutting James and a group of friends purchased parcels on the hill and surrounding pastures to protect it from development, partly in response to a proposed ski area. James’ group called themselves “The Cobblers,” and they created an informal association of tenants in common. James left the property to The Trustees of Reservations in 1961.

We will hike the Loop Trail which includes a section of the Appalachian Trail with vistas, open fields and woods.  Plan for two hours hike time. Parking lot is on Jerusalem Road off Main Road in the center of Tyringham. We will start at kiosk in the parking lot. GPS Location: 42.243250, -73.205525 42.243250, -7305525
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!
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 http://www.westernmasshilltownhikers.com
Please keep our beautiful places clean and carry in and carry out.

July 27, 2019 10:00 am Clam River in Sandisfield

Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike at Clam River in Sandisfield
Saturday July 27th at 10:00 am
A tributary of the Farmington River, Clam River gets its name from freshwater mussels*not actually clams*that make their home in the river. This 550-acre preserve protects 1.5 miles of the Clam, protection that the river did not have in centuries past when settlers harnessed its power to run mills. Visitors can find evidence of that primitive engineering on the river. Further away from its banks are the long stone walls of likely sheep farmers and a house foundation with an unusual feature: an enclosed, covered stone structure in the middle of the cellar. Sandisfield is the largest town in the Berkshires at 53 sq. mi. and also the most sparsely populated with about 900 full-time residents. The past left a strong footprint on the landscape in the form of cellar holes, foundations, orchards, and stone walls. In the 1800s, tanneries and mills, powered by the Clam and Farmington Rivers, supplemented the huge logging industry, and farms and families prospered. The many stone walls here attest to livestock husbandry that peaked from 1810 to 1840 with the craze for raising Merino sheep. With the collapse of the wool markets and the lack of any railroad serving the area, farmers moved west to better soils. Many of those who stayed raised chickens.
Plan for two hours hike time. Parking lot is at Sandisfield Town Hall. We will start at kiosk in the parking lot. GPS Location: GPS: 42.1081, -73.1080. Full hike details are on Facebook and our website. Hike rating is Easy with no uphill climbing.
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!

August 10, 2019 10:00 am Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale

Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike at the Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale
Saturday August 10th at 10:00 am
GPS Location: GPS: 42.4480, -73.1305
Hike Rating: Easy. First section is handicap accessible and good for kids

Thanks to the generosity of Crane and Company and the hard work of the MassWildlife and the Housatonic Valley Association, The Old Mill Trail is your best way to get at the upper reaches of the Housatonic River. The trail passes through many fascinating historic sites including an old dam, the Plunkett Brothers mill, and the remains of the penstock that channeled water to mills in Dalton. The natural beauty of this land is rugged and spectacular with boulders and hemlock groves. From the trailhead at the south end of the trail 0.7 mile of universally accessible trail follows the river north. The trail crosses Route 8 soon after the end of the graveled trail. From here north, the trail is pedestrian only. The first several hundred yards of this beautifully crafted trail section are actually in the river itself. This is an out-and-back trail, with a round-trip length of 3.0 miles. Hike rating is Easy.

Plan for two hours for the hike. From the center of Dalton: take Route 8 south to the Hinsdale line. From the town line, continue 4/10 miles to a left on Old Dalton Road. The trailhead parking is the first, immediate left. Hike will start at the kiosk in the parking lot. GPS: 42.4480, -73.1305

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!

September 21, 2019 10:00 am H. Newman Marsh Trail in Chester

Saturday September 21st at 10:00 am
Western Mass Hilltown Hikers group hike the H. Newman Marsh Memorial Trail
Saturday September 21st at 10:00 am
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.

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!

October 12, 2019 10:00 am Keystone Arch Bridges Trail in Chester/Becket/Middlefield

November 16, 2019 10:00 am Knittel Conservation Area in Blandford

December 14, 2019 10:00 am Nobleview Outdoor Center in Russell

January 18, 2020 10:00 am Becket Quarry

February 22, 2020 10:00 am Sanderson Brook Falls in Chester


Past Group Hikes

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