Bousquet owners create access to improved route to Berkshire vista
On Friday, June 19, 2020 Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) and Mill Town announced their partnership to create improved public access to Mahanna Cobble, a conservation reserve owned and operated by BNRC. Mahanna Cobble is free and open to the public, and rests atop the south-facing side of Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield.
Mill Town, which recently purchased the Bousquet ski resort, is focused on expanding outdoor recreation opportunities at Bousquet and around the Berkshires, including hiking activities. Together, BNRC and Mill Town have placed temporary signage at Bousquet to highlight an access route for hikers from the mountain’s base lodge and parking area, up a ski hill, to BNRC’s new Mahanna Cobble trail.
“We are thrilled to have a strong partner in Mill Town as we open a gem of a trail, leading to a beautiful Berkshire vista. Partnerships like this are key to our success in conserving land around the Berkshires for wildlife and recreation,” says Jenny Hansell, President of BNRC. “The new Mahanna Cobble Trail embodies the core elements of BNRC’s work – our rich conservation history, efforts to open special places to all, and engaging in sustainable trail building for hikers now and long into the future.”
This brand new route to Mahanna Cobble, funded by BNRC donors, was completed at the close of the 2019 trail construction season under the direction of Tyler Fogg, BNRC’s Trails Coordinator. Many BNRC volunteers and staff assisted in the design of this sustainably-built trail, with some portions constructed by OBP Trailworks LLC.
Hikers will experience approximately 600 feet of elevation gain, made manageable through a series of climbing turns and hand-set stone steps.
“BNRC is recognized as a county leader known for top-notch land stewardship and trail accessibility, and we’re thrilled to tap into their expertise as our on-site hiking trail partner,” notes Carrie Holland, Mill Town’s Managing Director. “This collaboration will really help highlight the outdoor recreation opportunities found at Bousquet mountain for our community year-round — well beyond the obvious winter skiing and snowboarding season. We are excited to welcome the public to Bousquet to enjoy the beautiful network of trails that extend out from our property.”
Visitors should park to the far left of the lodge, and follow hiker signage to the “Drifter” beginner-level ski trail. Signage will indicate where to turn off Drifter, to access the Mahanna Cobble trail. The Cobble trail has clear directional signage to a vista atop the North Yokun Ridge. There, visitors will find a stone bench, dedicated to BNRC’s founding executive director George Wislocki, which provides a place to rest and enjoy the long view of uninterrupted forest to the south.
Distance from the lodge to the start of the trailhead is 0.4 miles; the Mahanna Cobble trail itself is a 1-mile single-track hiking path with gradual elevation gain, and requires walking on stone steps. The entire out-and-back hike is 2.8 miles. The access route from the parking area to Drifter may be modified periodically over the summer and autumn in light of lodge renovation and base area improvements. Follow signage and check the Mahanna Cobble webpage at www.bnrc.org/trails-and-maps/mahanna-cobble/ for updates before heading out.
BNRC is grateful to Mill Town for opening Bousquet Ski Area with to Berkshire hiking enthusiasts. Next, BNRC and Mill Town will collaborate on developing a permanent Mahanna Cobble trailhead, hopefully available in all four seasons of the year.
Future hiking opportunities will feature Bousquet as a trailhead for the northern section of BNRC’s High Road Yokun Ridge hike, which will connect a variety of trails and conservation lands along the ridge and into town centers. More details will be shared as plans are finalized.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, email@example.com, 413-464-1115.