This hike follows the long-distance Appalachian Trail over Becket (2,200 feet) and Walling (2,220 feet) Mountains, then drops down to the shore of Finerty Pond, illustrating the variety of this enormous forest. It then tracks the Cordonier Trail southward through low-lying forest lands, looping back to the Appalachian Trail for a short backtrack to your car.
October Mountain stands between the Taconic Range and the Green Mountains, and this altitude and distance inland combine to present a very different ecosystem from coastal Massachusetts. One sign of this is the Mountain Maple, which covers the slopes of Becket Mountain. The familiar five-lobed maple leaf appears to have just three lobes on this small tree, although the remaining pieces are visible if you look closely. Hop Hornbeam also grows here on the mountain slopes, with hemlock dominating in the low lands. In the lower, swampy land, puddles on the trail are filled with frogs in the spring, and toads can be found traveling between water sources.
© 2014 Benjamin B. Ames/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.