Hiking in the Mohawk Trail State Forest

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In Northwestern Massachusetts in The Berkshire Mountain Range Lies Mohawk Trail State Forest. A beautiful 6,500 acre wilderness preserve with lush hardwoods, deep ravines and its historic Indian Hiking Trail.

The signature Hiking trail of the park The Indian Trail can be rather difficult due to some steep inclines. The trail is has mountains ascents on either end which is something novice hikers should take note of. The trail itself is framed in beautiful witch hazel and mountain laurel. Although not well marked the trail itself is so well traveled that visitors should have little problem sticking to the main passage.

To find the trail head head north from the parking area along the park road. You will know you are getting close when you pass a designated camping area, closer still when you climb a natural stone outcrop stairway until you hit a T-junction. This junction is the official Indian Trail. To the left lies Clark Mountain to the right Todd Mountain.

The eastern portion of the trail towards Todd Mountain is the more difficult stretch of the trail as it includes a serious ascent. As you head easterly and begin to ascend be wary of wet stone covered in leaves as it is notoriously slippery. As you reach the summit of Mount Todd at roughly 1,700 feet an opportunity presents itself to enjoy easterly and southerly vista of both woodland and rural Massachusetts valleys.

If you head west from the T-junction your trail is a bit more mild. Gentle rolling hills and enjoyable mountain laurel guide your path. Just a few hundred feet in west of the junction is a nice view of the Cold River. As you approach Clark Mountain your one way journey is about over. When you reach a pair of stone foundations obscured by overgrowth travelers may wish to designate this area to turn back. Although the trail does continue for a little ways further it ends abruptly and unceremoniously in an empty field. Having visited both mountains and returned the hiker will have traveled a robust four and a half miles.

Although not as historic or well traveled as The Indian Trail to the southeast you will find Thumper Mountain Trail. Thumper Mountain Trail offers a few nice advantages, first it is camp-side adjacent and easily accessible. Secondly it offers true 'loop hiking' which many find more rewarding. At about a half mile round trip in length this is a rather ideal trail for families hiking or camping in the area that have younger children. Although there is a mild ascent the trail itself is quite forgiving.

A very easy to find trail-head starts where the campground road ends and is even denoted by a wooden post. Begin the gentle ascent to the top of Thumper Mountain. This trail offers a little more hemlock and white pine then other trails in the area however there a not as many opportunities for unobstructed picture taking as tourists might like so take them where you can. At the summit you will find a pleasant south-southwesterly view of Cold River.

Although the park does offer accommodations for campers it is always best to call ahead and check availability.

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Jeff C Thorson has 1 articles online

Whenever exploring the outdoors it is always wise to think safety first no matter how trivial the trail might be. Snake bite kits, cold weather gear and a reliable form of communication can all be life savers in an emergency situation. Although we cannot help with snakes we do offer a wide variety of small portable CB radios for sale. If that doesnt suit your needs perhaps a selection of more powerful 10 Meter Radios might be appropriate.

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Hiking in the Mohawk Trail State Forest

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This article was published on 2011/02/07