Visit Monument Mountain for a Spectacular Fall View

Monument MountainThe natural features of the Berkshires hardly leave anything to desire when it comes to scenic beauty. Our idyllic landscape has inspired artists and writers generation after generation. One of the great outdoor spaces to enjoy when visiting our Lenox bed and breakfast is Monument Mountain, located in nearby Great Barrington and Stockbridge. This ridgeline has great hiking trails, opportunities for native flora and fauna observation, and fantastic views of the rest of the Berkshires. During the fall months, it is most definitely worth the hike up Monument Mountain to take in the spectacular fall colors of our region. So pack a comfortable pair of hiking shoes, and get ready for a fantastic look at this special area of Massachusetts!

Monument Mountain Geography

Monument Mountain takes up residence in the towns of Great Barrington and Stockbridge, MA. The mountain is made up of quartzite and its ridgeline measures approximately two and a half miles long. The high point of the mountain reaches 1,739 feet high, with several other notable peaks to explore. The most well known of these other peaks is Squaw Peak, which has an elevation of 1,642 feet and is easily recognizable for its knife-edge appearance. Other points of interest include Devils Pulpit, a freestanding stone pillar, and Flag Rock, which is a ledge that overlooks Housatonic Village. From the peaks of Monument Mountain, you can enjoy views of the Housatonic River Valley, the Taconic Mountains, the Berkshires, and the Catskill Mountains.

 

Monument Mountain Reservation

Monument Mountain is home to an open space preserve measuring over 500 acres. The reservation is located on the southeast side of the mountain in Great Barrington. The reservation’s focal point is Squaw Peak, which as state above provides fantastic views of the surrounding areas. In the autumn, you can appreciate the bold orange, yellow, and red colors of the changing leaves on the trees below.

 

Monument Mountain Hiking

There are several hiking trails on Monument Mountain allowing you to reach Squaw Peak. It is said you must “earn your view” so parts of the ascent will require at least a moderate level of fitness. The total elevation gain when hiking up the mountain is 720 feet, so keep that in mind when you plan your hike, and allow at least two hours to complete it. Also, as with any hike, be sure to bring plenty of water with you. The trails on Monument Mountain include the following three routes:

  • Indian Monument Trail, which is about a mile and half long and showcases the history of the mountain with remains of Native American trails, former farm pastures, and old paths that accommodated carts, horses and even early automobiles.
  • Hickey Trail is the most direct route to the summit, which also makes it the most strenuous. This trail is .83 miles in length and has a greater vertical challenge.
  • Squa Peak Trail is the summit connecter between the Indian Monument Trail and Hickey Trail. This trail will provide you with the most breathtaking views at the top.

 

 

As you plan your visit to Monument Mountain to see the fall colors, be sure to book your stay at the Gateways Inn. Our Lenox bed and breakfast has all of the amenities travelers deserve, complemented by a timeless and elegant old world style. Our on-site Restaurant and Lounge offer the finest food, beverages, and live entertainment in town and are popular among our guests and local residents alike. The knowledge and gracious service of our staff will make your stay in the Berkshires one you will not soon forget! We will see you soon!

Photo courtesy ForestWander.com via Wikimedia Commons.