September 6, 2016 Joe Berkshire

Housatonic Heritage Hikes with BNRC

Berkshire Natural Resources Council is excited to partner again this year with Housatonic Heritage for their hike and walk series over three weekends in September and October. Please note: These hikes require prior registration (normally BNRC does not require pre-registration).

For more information about these and other Housatonic Heritage hikes, visit their website.

SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
Monterey, MA 10 AM  – 12:30 PM
EXPLORE CENTURIES OF STONE WALLS AT THE BIDWELL HOUSE MUSEUM
Join Robert Hoogs, from the Bidwell House Museum, on an exploration of the 4 miles of stone walls built by settlers. Visualize the landscape that resulted from the settlement and farming activities and visit the first meeting house site and cellar holes. Note: Does not include an interior house tour. Wear sturdy footwear & bring drink/snack. 2.5 hours–2 miles
To register–bidwellhouse@gmail.com or 413-528-6888.
From Monterey center–take Tyringham Rd. for 2 miles. Turn left onto Art School Rd. and drive 1 mile to the end; OR From the traffic light at Big Y in Lee–take Tyringham Rd and drive 5.4 miles, take a right onto Monterey Rd and drive for 2 miles, then take a right on Art School Rd. and drive 1 mile to the end.

SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 18, 2016
Lenox, MA 9 AM – 12:30 PM
HIKE YOKUN RIDGE NORTH TRAIL TO PANORAMIC LENOX VISTA
Join Berkshire Natural Resources Council staff for a moderate hike from Olivia’s Overlook to a hidden panoramic vista which overlooks downtown Lenox, Parsons Marsh and beyond! For an extended hiking option, interested hikers can hike the Brothers Trail back to Olivia’s Overlook. Bring drink/snack and wear boots/sturdy footwear. 2.5 hours–4 miles
To register–dbruce@bnrc.net or 413-499-0596

NOTE:  this hike does NOT begin at Olivia’s Overlook.

From the center of Lenox at the intersection of 7A and Route 183:  north on 7A for 0.2 miles to a left on Cliffwood Street.  Follow Cliffwood for 1.0 miles; bear right on to Reservoir Road.  Follow Reservoir Road for 1.8 miles to the trailhead and a gate across the road.  Note:  ignore the “Road Closed” signs at intersection of Reservoir and West Mountain Roads.

SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
Hinsdale, MA 9 AM – 12 PM
WALK THE OLD MILL TRAIL ALONG THE EAST BRANCH OF THE HOUSATONIC RIVER
Join a pleasant walk with Dennis Regan, from the Housatonic Valley Assoc., along the Housatonic River on the Old Mill Trail, that follows the remnants of an early mill operation that once powered a thriving woolen mill. Wear sturdy footwear and bring drink/snack. 3 hours–3 miles
To register–dregan@hvatoday.org or 413-394-9796
Meet at the Old Mill Trail along the Housatonic River at the junction of Old Dalton Rd. and Rt 8 in Hinsdale–3.5 miles from junction of Main St, High St, and Rt 9/8A in Dalton.

SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
Alford, MA 2 PM – 5 PM
HIKE AT ALFORD SPRINGS RESERVE
Join Mike Leavitt–Berkshire Natural Resources Council and Christine Ward–Great Barrington Land Conservancy, for a hike to explore BNRC’s beautiful Alford Springs Reserve. Wear boots/sturdy footwear & bring drink/snack. 3 hours – 3 miles
To register–mleavitt@bnrc.net or 413-499-0596
From Rt. 7 in the center of Gt. Barrington, at the traffic light by the big stone St. James church and the tourist info building, take Taconic Ave. (which later turns into Alford Rd.) After passing Simon’s Rock College, take a left onto Seekonk Rd., which turns into Green River Rd. Take a right onto Mountain Rd, just before the NY/MA state line. Bear hard right past BNRC’s first parking lot and drive to the end of Old Village Road to the trailhead.

SUNDAY- SEPTEMBER 25, 2016
Lanesborough, MA 10 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 3 PM
A DISCOVERY HIKE AT BERKSHIRE NATURAL RESOURCES COUNCIL’S CONSTITUTION HILL – OR, A FEW MINUTES WITH JOSH BILLINGS
Join historian Mike Whalen, sponsored by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, as we explore the fascinating cultural and natural history of BNRC’s property–Constitution Hill. This 252-acre preserve encompasses the broad sweep of the town’s lively heritage from colonial times to the present. The birthplace of 19th-century humorist Josh Billings, the hilltop acquired its iconic name in 1788 as the site of a famous bonfire celebrating the state’s successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. This hike will feature a visit to the historic Constitution Oak tree and offer significant evidence of early agriculture and the hill’s important connection to the local iron industry. Today, Constitution Hill is known for 4-season recreation and bird-watching; yet it retains much of the rugged charm that has always distiguished its unusual place in the annals of local lore. Wear boots/sturdy footware and bring drink/snack. Rain cancels. 2 hours–2 miles
To register email- hikewithmike@live.com or phone 413-499-9935
Take Rt 7 to the center of Lanesborough. At the brick Newton Memorial Town Hall building, turn west onto Bridge St. and continue uphill to the end of the road (it becomes a gravel road at the top). Meet at the open parking area with kiosk map-board.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016
Lee, MA 10 AM – 12 PM
HIKE AT BERKSHIRE NATURAL RESOURCES COUNCIL’S BASIN POND RESERVE
Today Basin Pond is a quiet little beaver pond and wetland area. But attempts in 1886 and 1968 to dam the pond led to loss of life and heavy property damage. This interpretive hike through a boulder-strewn forest is led by a guide from Berkshire Natural Resources Council. Wear boots/sturdy footware and bring drink/snack. 2 hours–3 miles
To register–mleavitt@bnrc.net or 413-499-0596
From the intersection of Rt 102 & Rt 20 in Lee (at exit 2 of the Mass Pike), drive east on Rt 20 for 4 miles, turn left on Becket Rd (across from LuJohn’s Auction Gallery). Drive uphill 0.3 mile to the BNRC sign/parking area for Basin Pond, on the left; or a little further up the road is a bigger parking area.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016
New Marlborough, MA 10 AM – 1 PM
HIKE AT BERKSHIRE NATURAL RESOURCES COUNCIL’S STEEPLETOP RESERVE
Join the New Marlborough Land Trust for a hike at Steepletop, an exciting new Berkshire Natural Resouces Council reserve. This relatively easy walk will explore wetlands and woodlands in a gorgeous, unspoiled upland setting at the headwaters of the Harmon Brook. Wear sturdy footwear & bring lunch/drink. 3 hours – 4 miles
To register, email–nmlandtrust@gmail.com or call–413 229 8633
Meet at the parking area at the head of the Steepletop Reserve access road off of New Marlborough-Monterey Road. From Great Barrington, at the junction of Rts 7 & 183, follow Rt 183 east for 3.5 miles to a slight right on Routes 183/57. Follow 183/57 for 5.7 miles to a left on New Marlborough-Monterey Road (The Old Inn on the Green is on this corner); follow for 1.6 miles to a right at 648 New Marlborough-Monterey Road and BNRC’s Steepletop access road.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2016
54 – Dalton, MA 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
HIKE & EXPLORE BERKSHIRE NATURAL RESOURCES COUNCIL’S BOULDERS RESERVE
Hike with Berkshire Natural Resources Council staff at The Boulders–a 686 acre conservation and recreation area that has been open to the public for decades – but no one knew where it was located! Since the acquisition of the property in 2015, BNRC has made improvements to signage and trails. See why The Boulders became an instant staff favorite! Wear boots/sturdy footwear & bring drink/snack. 3 hours–5 miles
To register–mleavitt@bnrc.net or 413-499-0596
From the junction of Rtes 8 & 9 in the Coltsville section of Pittsfield–drive east on Rte 8/9 for 1.4 miles and take a left on Park Ave. Drive 0.25 miles on Park Ave. to Craneville Elementary School (71 Park Ave.).