Discover the Berkshires of Massachusetts
by Charles W.G. Smith & Susan A. Smith (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
© Charles W.G. Smith & Susan A. Smith/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.
We actually combined hikes. We took the Bash-Bish trail up to Alander, then descended via the Alander Mountain trail. Temp hovered about 80, cooled a bit atop the ridge. Best energy burn is the early Bash-Bish ascent- be sure to use the rails and wires! The trail markers look black, not blue, prior to the South Taconic junction. Be sure to turn left- and go up once you hit the white blazes. Sights in the summer didn't really explode into view until we were able to regard Alander from the south shoulder of Bash-Bish. The view at Alander were incredible. Overall hike distance for the end-to- end: approximately 9 miles. Time with 45 minute lunch atop Alander: approximately 6 hours. This hike is very nice, has a little of everything in it.
I really enjoyed this hike. There where really no downside to it. The only thing that is bit inaccurate in the guide book are there are no good views until you reach the north shoulder of Alander mountian. Once you do there are almost 360 views looking at the Catskills, Greylock, and the Housatonic Valley. The firs mile is all uphill but worth it. As the guide book says it levels off and the trail becomes much more moderate. I would imagine this would be a great fall hike after the leaves are down with views all the way up. A few notes; the trail is easy to follow once you find the blue blazes going up the the Gorge trail. Walk down stream a bit before you cross. Its easier. Look for the wire fence to find the trail downstream from the gravel road.
The brook crossing is not difficult but there is a good chance your feet will get wet at the start of the hike. Bring a dry pair of socks just in case! so you don't have to hike with wet feet all day long. There is no water after the brook, so if you have dogs make sure you bring enough water for them. After the descent I took the gorge trail down to the water fall and then hiked back up on the falls trail on the other side. It was well worth it but its a vert steep trail both ways. There is no bridge crossing the brook below the falls, but it is crossable. You can find a map on trails.com in detial listed as Bash-Bish Falls. It was helpful.
Totally time for me with 1/2 hour break on top was 5 hours.
Great Hike if your up for a challange!
There is no trail head sign or blazes until you cross the stream above the falls. it was a little confusing at first until we saw where someone made a log bridge to cross the stream. High water would make this dangerous to attempt. Once across the stream the trail goes straight up the mountain for about 700 ft elev gain in less than a mile. Its a workout. There were no leaves on the trees so there were some decent views here and there when we reached the top of the brutal climb. the views were getting better as we went and the Raptors were out in full force. definately worth it!
Beautiful views from Alander Mountain, but the trail description over-promises views along the way. I agree with a previous reviewer that there was not much to see along the way. The trail was well-marked enough. We ended the walk by hiking down to the NY end of the park and back up the river for a while. We never did find a bridge down there, so we had a second ford of the river.
This was a challenging hike. Climbing up out of the Bash Bish falls gulley is very steep and challenging. As someone mentioned in an earlier review, the river crossing looked more challenging that I found it.
I would recommend that this hike be changed slightly, I would start at the lower carpark. This would allow one to hike to the falls and then up the gulley but return via the South Taconic trail.
Mt Alander used to be my favourite Berkshire mountain (nice sunny open spaces) until I discovered Mt Brace about three miles south of Mt Alander.
Ciao and happy hiking.
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