We started the trek up Monument Mountain after a leisure morning in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. We heard a couple talking about it while having a coffee at a local coffee shop. We striked up a conversation with them and they were kind enough to share all their knowledge of the hike. It also happened to be a relatively warm day for March so all this considered it was hard to resist on an adventure like this. The drive from town to the Monument Mountain Reservation parking lot on Route 7 took us about 10 minutes.
There are about three miles of hiking trail you can choose from. One being the 1.5 miles Indian Monument Trail. We read on the map that it was the easiest and less strenuous of the three and because we had a toddler in tow that was the obvious choice for us, but if you like challenge you can pick from the 0.83 mile Hickey Trail, leaving right from the parking lot. This way is the most direct. Or you can proceed on the Squaw Peak Trail ( 0.62 mile) which is the summit connector for both the Indian Monument and Hickey trails and offers the best views. We encountered bike riders along the way and to be completely honest I’m not exactly sure how they made it up and down the trail.
Along the way to the top you would pass by White Pine habitat and Oak Forest. You would also pass Maple trees, Hemlock, Birch and Red Pine. According to the text we read on the map at the beginning on the trail the stands of Red Pine you see were planted in 1920 to restore the landscape largely denuded by local iron smelters and charcoal operations, which required huge quantities of timber for fuel.
The trail is acceptable year round but some spots of it are hard to navigate and rocky and you would have to use your full attention but the spectacular views at the summit are well worth it we promise!
At the 1,642 foot summit of Squaw Peak, you’ll be rewarded with views as far as Mount Greylock, near the Vermont border and to the west all the way to the Catskills of New York. What you see in the picture bellow is the beautiful Housatonic River Valley which you’ll be standing right above.
Again, as with every hike in the wild, bring water and snacks. Allow enough time ( about 2 hours of time for this hike) and stay on the marked trail and just have fun and enjoy the views.
We took a little longer than two hours since we had the little one with us and had to have multiple stops allowing him to run around the not so dangerous spots and also thoroughly enjoying the views at the top actually having a little picnic there which was splendid. It got a little busy on the way down since I think people hit the trail before or right after lunch so plan accordingly.
If you decide to explore Monument Mountain you can find it here:
We Wish you Breezy Hikes and Stunning Views and Don’l Lose Your Travel Bug!