Lenox/Pittsfield

 hiking photography 

Conserved only by the toughest of fights in court, this summit at the north end of Lenox Mountain is not only beautiful, but the most appropriate place possible to acknowledge the enduring gifts of Berkshire Natural Resource’s founder, George Wislocki.


Visit his stone bench and ponder your place in the world, and its place in you.

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Mahanna Cobble 42.419500, -73.276600 Mahanna Cobble (trailhead parking) (Directions)

PRINTABLE MAPS

Property Overview Map

Aerial Photo Map

Mahanna Cobble Trail: Difficult

Note: A new access trail to Mahanna Cobble is currently under construction. The anticipated completion date is Fall of 2019.

Special features: Gorgeous views from George’s bench

DIRECTIONS

NOTE: Parking at West Mountain Road is not available.

Three season parking is available at the Bousquet ski area parking lot. No access is available from here in the winter!!! Follow the ski trails up the mountain, sticking to the left-most ski trail (Drifter) as you ascend. Look for the hiking trail on the left side of the ski trail about 4/10 mile from the parking area.

Or if you want to get your climbing done early in the walk, ascend to the top of the highest chairlift and then follow your nose past the radio tower onto the Yokun Ridge Trail. Before entering the woods, turn around and take in spectacular views north over the City of Pittsfield to Mount Greylock.

All the trails on Mahanna Cobble itself are signed and marked, though a new access trail is under construction. Please stay on BNRC or Bousquet property. No access to Pleasant Valley is offered from here. If you decide to head that way anyway, be aware that as a wildlife sanctuary Mass Audubon does not allow dogs, bikes, or hunting.

GPS: 42.4195, -73.2766 (trailhead parking)

TRAIL DESCRIPTION

This three-season access trail begins at Bosquet ski area. From the far left slope make the climb to George’s Bench and its grassy ledges, with views south over Kennedy Park and Yokun Ridge.  Your approach down the slope allows bird’s eye views of Pittsfield and the North Berkshires.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

Mahanna Cobble is a rocky vista point with views to the east and south of Kennedy Park and Yokun Ridge. A challenging round-trip trail of 2.8 miles starts at the three-season access at Bousquet Ski Area parking lot.  At the cobble, a stone bench honors the founding director of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, George Wislocki.

Mahanna Cobble is accessed from the Bousquet Ski Area on Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield. Park at the lodge and follow the ski trails, bearing left at every intersection until you see signs for the hiking trails.

HISTORY

Mahanna Cobble is not quite as dramatic as Monument Mountain in South County, but it’s a terrific Central Berkshire counterpart. Close to town, accessed by short and steep trails, tremendous views and a great picnic spot – it has it all.

The Cobble itself is the northern summit of Lenox Mountain, the long and picturesque ridge that extends north from Olivia’s Overlook to the Bousquet Ski Area in Pittsfield.

Lenox Mountain has long been a focus for conservation. BNRC’s Burbank Trail anchors the southern end. The Town of Lenox’s watershed and Kennedy Park comprise the midsection. Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Sanctuary and BNRC’s Mahanna Cobble conserve the northern end.

Mahanna Cobble did not have an easy birthing. On its way to being sold to BNRC in 2007 by Bousquet Ski Area owner the late George W. Jervas, a would-be developer entered the picture. The developer claimed that it had reached agreement to buy the ski area, including the Mahanna Cobble tract under contract to BNRC. The news later emerged that the developer hoped to build a hotel, restaurant and condos on the summit of the mountain. All sides lawyered up. In 2010 the courts affirmed BNRC’s right to purchase the land and ordered the developer to pay BNRC’s legal fees.

“Cobbles” are a particular Berkshire name for a classic geologic formation of exposed bedrock existing high on a ridge. Others in the Berkshires can be found at Tyringham Cobble, Cheshire Cobble, Pine Cobble, and Bartholomew’s Cobble. They are evidence of tectonic movement that shifted ancient strata.

There is a central loop trail on the property, made up of the steep Vista and Secret Trails and the undulating Yokun Ridge Trail along the ridgeline. The “don’t-miss” highlight is a massive stone bench at the head of a grassy clearing dedicated to George Wislocki, BNRC’s founder. The long views south to Monument Mountain are free of roads and buildings. It’s one of the finest resting spots anywhere in the Berkshires.