Housatonic Heritage walks
September 10 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Housatonic Heritage will hold a series of outdoor and historic walks exploring sites across the central and Southern Berkshires in the watershed of the Housatonic River. For all hikes and outdoor walks, wear hiking boots and sturdy footwear and suggest bringing drink and snack and bug repellent, and be prepared for inclement weather.
If this house could talk — Sheffield — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Explore 11 buildings on the Sheffield Green, and the people who lived, worked and worshiped in them, in a 40-minute, mile-long self-guided walking tour. Many of the buildings date to the 18th & early 19th centuries. Please view the buildings from the sidewalk and public areas of the Green.
You can pick up a tour booklet on the steps of the Old Stone Store or from ifthishousecouldtalk.weebly.com for a virtual version. Scan the QR codes in the tour booklet or follow along with the virtual version on your phone for bonus content like historic photos.
Stockbridge Old Growth Forest at Ice Glen Ravine — 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Berkshire Environmental Action will lead a walk through one of the oldest forests in Massachusetts, through a landscape of boulders thick with mosses. The walk will last an hour and a half nd cover about 1.5 miles.
Meet at the Goodrich Memorial Park parking lot on Park St., about a quarter mile south of the Red Lion Inn on Route 7. (email@example.com)
Hike up Cobble Mountain at Macedonia Brook State Park, Kent, Conn. — 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Elizabeth Schrang from the Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy will lead a challenging hike at our Cobble Mountain Preserve, accessible from Macedonia Brook State Park. The trail passes along Macedonia Brook and includes a steep ascent over a rocky outcrop to the blue-blazed Macedonia Ridge Trail.
NCLC has protected 192 acres of Cobble Mountain and the surrounding area that includes 86 acres of ridgeline and the northwestern hillside, and conservation easements on 106 acres. This hike is steep, but you will be rewarded with amazing views of the Taconic and Catskill Mountain ranges. The walk will last about 3 hours and cover 2.5 miles.
Meet at 159 Macedonia Brook Road. From the center of Kent, follow Route 341 west from the junction of Routes 341 and 7. Turn right onto Macedonia Brook Road, stay left at the intersection of Macedonia Brook and Fuller Mountain Roads and look for park signs. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Plants, animals and history of Wahconah Falls, Dalton — 10 a.m. to noon
Naturalist and Director of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center Aimee Gelinas will lead a hike through hemlock groves, glacial erratics and along a cascading brook and falls and talk about the flora (plants, trees, wild edibles), the fauna (signs of wildlife) and the cultural history (talc mill) at the the Wahconah Falls State Park.
The hike is free, supported by the Dalton Cultural Council and the Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund and Mass. DCR State Parks. It will last about 2 hours and cover 1.5 miles. From the center of Dalton, take Route 8A north for about 1 mile and take a right onto Back Dalton Road, and drive half a mile to parking lot. (email@example.com)
Hike at the Goodbody Preserve — Sharon, Conn., 10 a.m. to noon
Join Tim Hunter and the Sharon Land Trust for this hike on this 107-acre preserve, which offers spectacular views of the Sharon Valley and lake. Take a deep breath and enjoy the view, as the lands that are seen from this lookout are almost all preserved, either by the Sharon Land Trust or by other regional conservation organizations. Parts of this hike are steep, as the trail gains elevation of 1,065 feet– for intermediate to advanced hikers. The hike will last about 2 hours and cover 2.5 miles.
Meet at the trailhead, at 140 Millerton Road (Route 361) in Sharon, Conn., about half a mile south of Dakin Road. Parking is at the top of a short but steep drive up to a farm field.
Great Barrington’s architectural history — 10 a.m. to noon
Nicholas Greene from Clark & Green Architecture and Design will lead participants on a stroll through historic downtown Great Barrington, as they discover the history of the town’s people past and present, their lives and the architecture they called home. The walk will last about 2 hours and cover 2.5 miles.
Meet at the small engraved stone monument at the corner of Main and Castle Street in Great Barrington. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1744 Historic Grounds and Farm of April Hill — South Egremont — 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Will Conklin from the Greenagers will lead an easy walking tour of the 1744 historic house and the 100-acre property of April Hill.
The walk will last about an hour and a half and cover about a mile.
Meet at 62 Undermountain Road, Route 41, South Egremont. From the north: while driving on Route 23 through the the center of South Egremont, at the junction of Routes 23 and 41, turn onto Route 41 and drive for a mile. From the south, from Salisbury, Conn., drive 12 miles on Route 41. (email@example.com or 413-644-9090)
Beckley Blast Furnace in East Canaan — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Learn about the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley, by the Friends of Beckley Furnace. Built in 1847, the furnace produced high quality iron until 1918, and is one of the last surviving examples of the 19th and early 20th century blast furnaces that were once commonplace Connecticut sights. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There were 21 furnaces in northwestern Connecticut, as rich veins of iron ore were discovered in the hills near the town of Salisbury. During the American Revolution, CT-forged iron helped fuel the manufacture of American weaponry, most notably the cannons used by the Continental Army, Union weapons for the Civil War, and railroad car wheels.
Tour begins when you arrive and last about an hour, covering less than half a mile. Meet at 140 Lower Road, East Canaan, just off Routes 44 and 7. If coming from the East, North, or West, take Route 44 to East Canaan, Conn. At the Congregational church, turn South onto Lower Road, passing alongside the Church building, and continue for half a mile, turning to the right and down the hill. The former furnace office and the furnace stack are visible on your left.
If coming from the South, take Route 7 to Canaan. Pass a railroad yard on your left, and just before you cross a bridge across the the Blackberry River, turn right into Lower Road, heading East. The Furnace is about 3 miles east of the intersection of Lower Road and East Canaan.
Exploring the historic Becket Quarry — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join us on this moderate hike to explore the Becket Quarry (and the beauty of this forest), the newest addition to the southern Berkshires portfolio of The Trustees of Reservations. Learn about the history of the quarry with the Becket Land Trust and how The Trustees of Reservations are planning on continuing the management and care for this unique and historic property.
The Becket Quarry was used for granite quarrying from the 1850-1950’s and is now filled with water, surrounded by stands of beautiful white birch trees. But you can still find glimpses of the old Quarry days with a standing wooden derrick, winches, parts of old machinery and building once used by quarry workers left behind. The walk will last about 2 hours and cover about 2 miles.
From junction of Routes 20 and 102 in Lee, take Route 20 east and drive about 14 miles to the junction where Route 8 turns left off Route 20. Here you will turn right on Bonny Rigg Hill Road. Drive about 2 miles and turn left on Quarry Road,then keep going for a mile, and parking is on the right.
Interpretive Stroll on the Housatonic River — 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Great Barrington Land Conservancy will lead a tour of this designated National Recreation Trail that follows the Housatonic River as it flows behind Main Street. Incredible volunteer efforts removed 400 tons of debris from the river and developed a trail that respects nature and reveals the river’s beauty. Learn of the historic, cultural and ecological significance of the river.
The walk will take about an hour and cover about half a mile. Meet at the Du Bois River Garden Park at Church and River Streets. (Elia@greenagers.org or 413-429-6416)
Migrating from the Mountaintop to the Housatonic headwaters in Hinsdale — 1 to 3 p.m.
Peter White will give an indoor presentation on the history of Hinsdale’s migrating town centers and the eventual use of the Housatonic River in Hinsdale.
Hear about the large, successful Hinsdale Woolen Mill and other mills and the dams that powered the saw mill and grist mill on the river and the development of the town center after the railroad came through. The talk will last about 2 hours.
Driving south on Route 8 through Hinsdale, through the traffic light, you will come to the Hinsdale Town Hall, 39 South St., Hinsdale. Pepawhite@aol.com or 413-822-6566
Explore the plants, animals and history of the Old Mill trail in Hinsdale — 1 to 3 p.m.
Naturalist and Tamarack Hollow Director Aimee Gelinas will lead an easy hike along the Housatonic River and tlak about riverbank and floodplain ecology. You will learn about the flora (plants, trees, wild edibles), the fauna (signs of wildlife) and cultural history of this unique conservaton land along the Housatonic River.
The hike is free, and the first 0.7 miles of the trail are fully accessible for wheelchairs, walkers etc. This walk is supported by the Hinsdale/Peru Cultural Council and co-sponsored by Berkshire Natural Resources Council.
From the center of Dalton: take Route 8 south to the Hinsdale line. From the town line, continue 0.4 mile to a left on Old Dalton Road. The trailhead parking is the first, immediate left, across from the Hinsdale Trading Post.(firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Shay’s Rebellion and the Appalachian Trail in Sheffield — 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Learn about the Appalachian Trail, the most famous hiking trail in the U.S., and Shays’ Rebellion in 1787 and its possible influence on the US Constitution. Bess Dillman from the Berkshire Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club will lead a walk through fields, hardwood forests and across a boardwalk in a wetland. The trail is uneven with roots and rocks but a lovely walk through a variety of habitats. The hike will last about 2.5 hours and cover about 4 miles.
The Appalachian Trail parking area is across the road from 1024 Sheffield/Egremont Road in Sheffield. From Great Barrington, drive about 2 miles south on Route 7 to a right on Lime Kiln Road. Follow it for one mile and turn right on Sheffield/Egremont Road. You’ll see a monument immediately on the right, and the parking area is on the left. (email@example.com)
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