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Join us for fall foliage views from the top of Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
We will be hiking the Indian Monument Trail (1.51 miles) which is a relatively easy path. It is the most gradual, providing walker with a leisurely ascent up a former carriage road on the west side of the mountain. We will also be continuing onto the Squaw Peak Trail (.62 miles) which is a connector trail and offers the best views; but, portions of this trail run along the top steep cliffs. We will then reconnect with the Indian Monument Trail to finish the hike.
· The Indian Monument Trail brings hikers past more than 300 years of history – the remains of ancient Native American trails, stone walls of former sheep pastures, woods roads, cart paths that brought hemlock bark to tanneries, hearths of charcoal makers, horse-and-carriage pleasure roads, recreational foot paths, and roads traveled by Ford Model T’s.
· Once we reach inscription rock we will proceed on the Squaw Trail to Squaw Peak and then to Devil's Pulpit. Portions of the Squaw Peak Trail run along the top of steep cliffs and over large rocks. If you do not like heights or are unsure of you surefootedness, please do not sign up for this hike. Two hiking poles are suggested. You will need appropriate sturdy hiking boots,. The ascent to the peak are steep rock stairs and many roots. The elevation gain is significant in a very short distance. Midway along the Squaw Peak Trail, you'll find a good reason to take a breather and take in some fine views. From the overlook near the Devil's Pulpit, a striking pillar of white quartzite, you can gaze westward to the Taconic Range and south across the Housatonic River Valley. This stone tower also serves as a trail marker; from here you follow the trail west to where it connects with the Indian Monument Trail.
From the 1,642-foot summit of Squaw Peak, you’ll enjoy views as far north as Mount Greylock, near the Vermont border, and, in the western distance, the Catskills of New York. Hawks (and even the occasional bald eagle) soar gracefully above the serene Housatonic River Valley spreading below.
Remember, you’ll be “earning” the spectacular views offered from the higher reaches and summit, so a basic level of fitness is required to handle the 720-foot elevation gain. Wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. Understand that wet weather can make for some slippery footing. Be especially cautious on the ledges.
If it is raining or very wet we do have an alternate location for a hike down the road from Monument Mountain that is very nice.
Here is a link for the trail map:
Directions to Monument Mountain:
From Points West: I-90 to Exit B3, NY Rt. 22 South. Take 1st left onto Rt. 102 East. After approx. 8 mi., turn right onto Rt. 7 South and follow for 3 mi. Entrance and parking (56 cars) on right.
Minimum age is 8 (8-15 yrs must have a participating adult with them, 16-17 yrs must have a parent/guardian sign participant agreement but do not need to attend)
•please be dressed for the weather, we will go rain or shine
•Dress in layers
•wear appropriate hiking footwear and bring hiking poles
•please bring water, snacks and any personal medicines you may need as well as sunscreen, rain gear, day pack.
•camera and/or binoculars if you have them
Dorothy will have a black Jeep Liberty and Betsy will have a silver Subaru Outback. Dorothy's cell is[masked] and Betsy's cell is[masked] and feel free to call or text during the meetup times (10:00 AM - 1:00 PM)