Improved, Year-Round Access Created
On Thursday, January 14, 2021, Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC), Bousquet Mountain, and Mill Town welcome the re-opening of the improved hiking access trail to Mahanna Cobble, from the base of Bousquet Mountain. Mahanna Cobble is a conservation reserve owned and managed by BNRC. Hiking and snowshoeing to Mahanna Cobble, a south-facing natural destination atop Bousquet Mountain, is free and open to the public.
Last summer, hundreds of hikers enjoyed a temporary access route from the base of Bousquet to BNRC’s new Mahanna Cobble Trail. When construction at Bousquet increased in the fall, the access was temporarily closed. Now reopened, the route is improved with a woodland access trail leading from Bousquet’s base to the Mahanna Cobble Trail. This is the first time Mahanna Cobble is available for winter access.
The first section of the trail follows a 0.6-mile route on Bousquet property. Hikers will start at the top of Bousquet’s “Tube Town.” Signage and blue blazes painted on trees will guide hikers to the Russel ski slope, and then upward along a woodland path. Hikers will need to cross the Drifter ski slope to enter the Mahanna Cobble Trail. Hikers should be cautious, as both Russel and Drifter are active ski slopes. There is a spectacular view south of uninterrupted forest and stone bench at the vista. The bench is dedicated to founding BNRC Executive Director George Wislocki. The Mahanna Cobble Trail is a 1-mile long single-track trail with switch-back turns and stone steps. The total distance is 3.2 miles for an out-and-back trip.
Bousquet Mountain welcomes hikers to enjoy the food, beverages, and facilities offered at the base of the mountain, which for the 2021 season, will operate entirely outside with seating in the pavilion, dining deck, and around firepits. A range of casual dining offerings are available including hamburgers, pizza bites, creative french fries, grilled sandwiches, s’mores packs, as well as a full range of hot drinks and bar offerings. While dogs are allowed on BNRC properties, they are not allowed on Bousquet property or the access trail during the 2021 ski season.
“The partnership with BNRC continues to be so valuable as their trail stewardship has opened the door to welcome a wider diversity of outdoor enthusiasts to the Bousquet campus,” notes Carrie Holland, Mill Town’s Managing Director. “Bousquet Mountain will continue to be a destination for skiers, snowboarders, and tubers, but now with Mahanna Cobble re-opening we can enjoy expanded on-mountain offerings for those looking for alternatives to downhill activities. Uphill hiking, snowshoeing, and backcountry skinning are really rewarding alternate ways to enjoy our Berkshires winter weather.”
BNRC appreciates a strong partner in Bousquet Mountain and Mill Town as we seek to offer improved hiking experiences close to community centers, year-round. We are thrilled to finally have four-season access to this beautiful new trail and destination in central Berkshire,” says Jenny Hansell, BNRC President. “Thanks to the generosity of Mill Town and Bousquet Mountain, we have another, great new option for winter hiking in the Berkshires.”
Follow signage and check the Mahanna Cobble webpage at www.bnrc.org/trails-and-maps/mahanna-cobble/ for updates before heading out.
Established in 1967, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s mission is to protect and preserve the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the Berkshires for public benefit and enjoyment. There are 56 BNRC conservation reserves spread across Berkshire County, free to the public, open to everyone for recreation. BNRC conserves land, builds and maintains trail systems, and offers year-round group outings—all through the support of donors. More about all BNRC properties and trails, and BNRC’s free Berkshire Trails app, can be found online at bnrc.org.
Media Contacts for BNRC:
Jenny Hansell, email@example.com, 413-499-0596.
Mill Town’s mission is to expand and improve the quality and quantity of opportunities to live, work, and play in the Berkshires. Founded in 2016, Mill Town is a Berkshire County-based impact investment firm. Mill Town invests in businesses, real estate, and community development projects in the City of Pittsfield and across the region. The company supports a wide variety of community development initiatives focused on outdoor recreation enhancement and supporting the region’s many cultural and non-profit assets. For more information, please visit milltowncapital.com.
Media Contacts for Mill Town:
Carrie Holland, firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-464-1115.