Tilda Hill Rd.
413 339-5504 (Mohawk Trail State Forest
Wild and rugged Monroe State Forest has deep valleys, steep mountains and tall trees reaching for the sky. To view this forested landscape with valley-filled fog is an unforgettable experience. A hike to the top of Spruce Mountain or to CCC-built Raycroft Lookout offers magnificent panoramas of the surrounding Hoosac and Green Mountains and Deerfield River. From the parking area off River Road, hike the Dunbar Brook Trail through shaded stands of old-growth old-growth Eastern Hemlock and associated northern hardwood trees. This pristine brook tumbles and drops 700 vertical feet in two miles, over huge moss-covered boulders forming entrancing waterfalls, rapids and pools.
The forest has reclaimed much of the farmland and pastures that previously existed here in the 1800s. Only cellar holes and stone walls remain; stark memorials to the rugged individuals who once wrested a living from this rocky soil.
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Things to know before you go...
The forest is open sunrise to sunset year-round. Access is free. Interior roads are in poor condition.
Be prepared: No services are available. Carry-in, carry-out all your belongings and trash.
Be bear aware: Don't forget you are in Black Bear country. Never physically confront, feed, torment or throw anything at bears. Take appropriate precautions with food so as not to attract bears.
Snowmobiling: is available conditions permitting (4-inch minimum hard-packed snow base).
Prohibited: All Terrain Vehicles and alcoholic beverages.
Monroe State Forest is located in the northern Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
From East or West Rte. 2: Take MA Rte. 2 in Florida to Tilda Hill Road. Turn onto Tilda Hill Rd. (becomes Main Road in Monroe) and follow for 4 miles, to intersection with Raycroft Road. Look for trailhead kiosk and parking. Dunbar Brook Trail upper trailhead is nearby.
Note: Raycroft Road is in poor condition.
Dunbar Brook Trail head, From East or West/Rte. 2: On MA Rte. 2 (2.2 miles west of Charlemont center) turn onto Zoar Road. Follow Zoar Rd. (becomes River Road in Florida) for 11 miles to parking and trailhead on left at Florida-Monroe town line. Only day-use parking is permitted here.