Monument Mountain in Great Barrington (July) The rock face in the parking a lot alone is amazing. This place is surreal, a large parking lot leads you either to your right or left onto the main trail which is a loop up and over the summit, we went right…into the woods along a stream that dropped steeply across flat rocks below, to the left was rock face boulders and an interesting waterfall carved through the mountain, a series of stone steps…at least 50…takes you up the mountain, several small switchbacks until you reach a bridge and really begin the ascent! the ground turns sandy and rocky, and then just rocks. This part is all boulders, climbing through and on top at the summit where you hike along the 10 foot wide summit on the boulders with sheer drop off cliff on either side. This is not for beginners, no rails, no fence, outstanding views. We put the dogs on leashes for safety here. When you have just about gotten your fill of the dizziness the trail starts the decline and back to a dirt surface..There is also another loop that takes the low road, that is another hike in itself. Total hike time is 3 hours.
Mary V Flynn Trail in Stockbridge (September) This is a pleasant walk on a one hour in and back along the Housatonic River on the old Berkshire Trolley line, note the trail is adjacent to railroad tracks. Beautiful rails in the beginning and a few benches at vistas. Parking lot is paved. You can access Laura’s Tower and Ice Glenn trails from here as well by crossing the tracks into the woods just after the bridge.
Laura’s Tower Trail in Stockbridge (August) One of the “three trails” on this mountain, we parked and came in at Ice Glenn Road and hiked through the Glenn to connect to the Tower trail, after climbing a series of switchbacks you arrive at the summit. The tower is in good shape and it has a compass in the middle which shows directions from all angles at this point, the view is unreal…Greylock stands out like a monolith! A short half hour climb gets you there!
Ice Glenn in Stockbridge (August) accessed on Ice Glenn Road, trail starts at residential driveway which is beautiful in itself, thank you for great landowners who allow hikers access to such amazing places. Enter the Glenn and feel the cool air then be amazed by the truck size boulders that you hike in between, mossy and slippery make for slow going but what a unique place! stone steps take you through the Glenn passing huge chasms in the ground, look up and view more boulders in this one of a kind place, an extreme experience, only a mile long but took us roughly 45 minutes to get through, once you are out of the Glenn you can head right on the Laura’s Tower Trail to see an epic vista or left to the Mary Flynn Trail along the Housatonic.
Becket Quarry (July)
Dorothy Frances Rice Sanctuary in Peru (June) hike at 2,043 foot elevation in 300 acres of woodlands. This was once the summer home of Dorothy Rice who loved the land so much it was donated to the New England Forestry Foundation in 1974. The caretakers cottage, wishing well, fruit trees and a box filled with trail cam pics, maps and a guestbook adds to the fun at this beautifully diverse six trails to choose from. Two lakes and a vista are included, virtually impossible to get lost here trails are very well blazed. Parking on South Road in Peru.
Farmington River Trail Tolland State Forest (June)
Knittel Conservation Area in Blandford (July) We hiked the Farm side of Herrick Road, filled with bridges, a small pond and several brooks. Knittel has trails on both sides of Herrick Road. The official trail head kiosk is on the woods side and takes you to the beaver pond, across the power lines and through the woods.
Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale (July)
The H. Newman Marsh Trail on Observation Hill (August) starts inside the Chester Blandford State Forest this trail has natural stone steps and crossing mini waterfalls up the initial half hour steep climb where you then cross a small gorge to hike around the top of the mountain at 1200 feet elevation. Breathtaking vistas of both west and east Westfield River valley. Mt. Tom, Gobble Mountain, Round Top Hill can all be seen clearly. Loop is just under 2 hours.
Clam River Trail Sandisfield (July) is a rolling forest taking you by the gently flowing crystal clear river several times . Forest is filled with stone walls. We completely the loop from Town Hall in one hour. The trail continues to Hammertown Road for a longer distance. We found the Clam River Reservoir on the way out several miles from the trail head.
Bob’s Way in Otis/Monterey (June) is tucked away on Route 23 trail head starts in a marsh cross the bridges to the mountain. Climb is moderate and there is a big loop and two cross trails with a vista on each.
Tyringham Cobble (July) This is a Trustees trail the most diverse I have hiked. Start at the rolling fields filled with wildflowers, loop takes you thru gates in and out of the woods twice and to 2 scenic vistas twice! Farmland views on the way down. Impressive trail maintenance and signage….section of the Appalachian Trail runs through it as well.
Hiking Basin Pond in Lee (June) what a find! Extremely well blazed loop take upper trail to lookout and lower trail back. Three stream crossings over rocks manmade and natural bridges, rock steps everywhere!