High on a pretty hillside on the way from Tyringham to Monterey lies the lovely 73-acre Steadman Pond Reserve. You’ll find there an open meadow and a quiet pond sheltered by the steep walls of surrounding hillsides. Bring the family – it’s a mellow spot for a picnic.
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.
GPS: 42.2133, -73.1971 (Trailhead parking)
A short walk down a mowed lane along the forest edge will bring you to the 12-acre pond. Here there are birds and wildlife, fine fishing, and the chance to paddle about (if one brings a boat). If you swim, you do so at your own risk. No skinny-dipping please – you share this spot with others.
The pond is about 15’ deep in the middle but can get weedy during the summer. A feeder stream enters on the south end, and at the north end a concrete dam retains the impoundment. Watch for newly chewed snags and teeth-sawed saplings along the shore; beavers have moved in, and they have built a new lodge along one edge.
The pond nestles comfortably at the bottom of a steep slope. This land, which was conserved in partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Monterey Land Preservation Trust, eventually links up to the Beartown State Forest. It’s all open for your exploration, but there are no marked trails. The wood roads through the forest were last used for logging in 2005. These roads, along with other trails, may be overgrown and hard to follow.
Near the pond’s outlet you’ll find the remains of an old stone bridge and a newer but deteriorating old logging bridge that spans the brook. If you decide to wander further into the hardwood and hemlock forest, make sure you have with you and can use a compass and topo map, and remember that hunting is allowed during the spring and fall seasons.
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.
2. Hoosac Range
3. Basin Pond
4. Stevens Glen
6. Clam River
8. Bob’s Way
10. Housatonic Flats