Lovely wetlands and vernal pools highlight these paired properties in Egremont & Great Barrington.
An excellent spot for peepers and other spring wildlife viewing.
Property Name: Barrett Woods
(aka: Barrett East and Barrett West)
Towns: Egremont and Great Barrington
Activities: Hiking, hunting, bird-watching, family-friendly
Special features: Vernal pools, interesting topography, wood roads
Hiking difficulty: Intermediate — unmarked yet walkable wood roads crisscross both properties. Feel free to explore but be sure to stay within BNRC’s boundaries.
Please note: The cabin at the middle of the western parcel is private property. Please give the occupant his privacy and stick to the wood road past the pond and cabin.
42.1990, -73.4039 (East frontage on Seekonk Cross Road)
42.1955, -73.4143 (West frontage on Pumpkin Hollow Road)
Barrett Woods comprises two parcels with a common origin: The Barrett family donated 212 acres of their timber holdings with the intent that they would be forever protected from development while still producing commercial timber.
The historical interactions of man-nature are highly visible throughout the Reserve: stone walls, pasture-grown pines, plantations of evergreens, a dam, stone walls, and wood roads. It’s obvious that the property was pasture until planted (some sections) or allowed to revert to forest naturally (most of the land). So what you see is the hand of man and also how quickly nature takes over. And under all that that you can see the glacial history of the property in the topography.
Several vernal pools are found here; in the spring amphibians abound. Wildlife are abundant: the great diversity of habitats on the Reserve and in the neighborhood beget great biodiversity. Unfortunately, in spots this is also a good place to observe the harmful effects of invasive bittersweet.
The eastern parcel has frontage on the west side of Seekonk Cross Road, between 66 and 70 Seekonk Cross Road. The western parcel has frontage on the west side of Pumpkin Hollow Road, in Egremont. (Pumpkin Hollow Road becomes Locust Hill Road in Great Barrington. Google or mapping software might not appreciate this distinction.)
The best access for the western parcel is 0.8 miles from the intersection of Egremont Plain and Pumpkin Hollow Roads. Park at the BNRC road opposite the driveway for 49 Locust Hill Road, Great Barrington (which driveway is located on Pumpkin Hollow Road, Egremont). You may park out of the way at the head of BNRC’s road on the west side of Pumpkin Hollow Road. See the map for clarity.