Other Ideas: Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area; Blue Hills State Reservation; Garden In The Woods: New England Wild Flower Society; The Charles River Esplanade; Breakheart Reservation
|Ages:||Kids, Teens, Adults|
|Category:||Parks & Nature|
From the 1,227-foot summit of Peaked ('pea-kid') Mountain, a panoramic view unfolds taking in Connecticut's Shenipsit State Forest to the south, Mount Monadnock to the north, and Mount Wachusett to the northeast. In between lies a sweep of rolling New England countryside with forested hills and ridges, valley farms, and small villages. The Valley View overlook provides views of nearby Boulder Hill and the City of Springfield to the west.
Remains of charcoal mounds and a collier's fireplace indicate that Peaked Mountain was the site of a 19th-century charcoal operation that provided fuel for local iron smelters and forges. In more recent years, the Peaked Mountain Co-op, a group of former property owners, managed the mountain's forest for timber and firewood production. Fire roads lead through a forest consisting almost entirely of oaks and other deciduous hardwoods. Scrub oak and other plants that are adapted to exposed sites dominate the rocky summit of the mountain.
The trails at the Miller Forest Tract allow for a different experience. Sandy soils here support a forest of mature pine and oak. Trails lead to and encircle tranquil Lunden Pond, where visitors might glimpse beavers, herons, and other wildlife drawn to the quiet waters.
3.5 miles of forest roads on Peaked Mountain. The ascent from the main entrance to the summit a gradual, 467-foot gain in elevation that is strenuous in places and takes 45 minutes. There is also a one-mile woodland trail looping around Lunden pond; easy walking.
Butler Road, Monson, MA map
Phone: (978) 840-4446
From the Mass Pike (I-90) take exit 8 and pick up Rte. 32 south towards Palmer. Pass through Palmer and continue on to Monson. After crossing over the Quaboag River, continue on Rte. 32 for 3 miles and then turn right onto High St. (in front of Monson Library). Turn left immediately onto Ely Rd. At stop sign, proceed straight onto Lower Hampden Rd., follow for 2 miles, and turn left onto Butler Rd. Continue 0.5 miles to Miller Forest Tract entrance and parking (6 cars) on right or 1.2 miles to main entrance and parking (20 cars) on left.
- Dogs must be under voice control or kept on a leash at all times.
- Mountain biking is permitted only on designated trails.
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