Williams College preserves the Hopkins Memorial Forest, 2600 acres in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, bordering on Williamstown Rural Lands .
Gentle paths run along the plateau and the Hoosic River, and longer trails continue uphill to the Taconic Crest Trail above. The college’s Center for Environmental Studies maintains the trails and the Rosenberg Center and has conducted field research on the forest’s trees and plants, spring flowers and salamanders, rivers and more for close on a century. They have one of the earliest tree canopy walkways in the world here to study the top branches.
Before that, the land was largely cleared for pasture and farmland, and the forest has gradually grown back. The old sugarbush remains, and CES boils maple syrup here in the spring in the wooden sugar shack. They also hold a spring festival in March / April to celebrate … and a fall festival when the leaves turn in October.