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Steadman Pond at Hudson-Howard

A beautiful setting for excellent bass fishing, bird watching, and picnicking. Swimming raft and rowboat await!


Highlights

  • Monterey and Tyringham, MA
  • 0.25 miles, one-way
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Size: 790 acres
  • Especially good in: Summer
  • Special Features: Tranquil pond with seeming infinite forest beyond

This land, and all of the present-day Berkshires, are the ancestral homeland of the Mohican people, who were forcibly displaced to Wisconsin by European colonization. These lands continue to be of great significance to the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation today. To learn more, visit mohican.com.

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      GPS

      From Monterey

      Head North on Tyringham Road 2 miles and the lot will be on West side of the street. If you pass into the town of Tyringham, you’ve gone too far.

      From Lee

      From the so-called “Thousand Islands” at the junction of Routes 102 and 20 and the Mass Pike in Lee, take the 5-mile drive south on Tyringham Road into the bucolic Tyringham Valley. Turn right onto the Monterey/Tyringham Road. While climbing the road, look for a parking turnout just beyond the Monterey/Tyringham town line.

      The 13-acre Steadman Pond is a fishing and swimming attraction within a 790-acre reserve adjoining the much larger Beartown State Forest. The pond, which has a swimming dock, is home to bass, beavers and migrating ducks. Nearby woods and fields harbor deer, bobcats, scarlet tanagers and pileated woodpeckers.

      The pond is just a short walk—0.2 miles—down a mown lane from the parking area. The pond was likely just a marsh with periodic beaver activity until sometime in the early 1900s when a stone dam at its northern end was built to create a source of hydropower for the Stedman Rake Factory down the hill in Tyringham.

      The pond has a depth of about 15 feet and is fed by a stream at its southern end. Weed growth is common in summer. It has long been a popular swimming hole for area residents. Feel free to go for a swim, use the raft or bring along a canoe or kayak. Be prepared to carry your boat from the parking area to the water and make sure your boat is clean to prevent the spread of invasive species.

      Swimming and boating is at your own risk.

      The surrounding woods and pond were donated by the Hudson and Howard families. The land was conserved in partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Monterey Land Preservation Trust. There are no marked trails in the forest but there are wood roads, which were last used for logging in 2005. These roads, along with other paths, may be overgrown and difficult to follow. But they are open to hikers, hunters, cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

      Steadman Pond is beloved by locals. It is a place many appreciate as a quiet sanctuary. No one appreciates this peaceful place more than Sarah Hudson, who together with her brother Barclay Hudson, made the gifts that conserved Steadman Pond and its surroundings.

      We have no real enforcement power, but we endorse Sarah Hudson’s wish that Steadman Pond remain an electronics-free zone – a place of respite and reflection.

      Largemouth bass are abundant in the pond, along with bluegill, yellow perch, otters and great blue herons. Evidence of beavers can be found in newly chewed snags and teeth-sawed saplings along the shore. They have built a lodge along one edge of the pond. The pond is also home to northern water snakes, a non-venomous and harmless species.

      The woods and fields around the pond support white-tailed deer, bobcats, pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers and wildflowers. Most of the forest area consists of mixed hardwoods and hemlocks.