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 did this hike on a very hot & humid day so our spirits were not that high. There are no views and nothing all that special to see along the way.
The posted description of the Burbank Trail is accurate in many respects, but seriously out of date on the title. The Jesuits' Shadowbrook novitiate closed in 1970 and has been the Kripalu yoga/health resort since 1983. Moreover, "Shadowbrook Pond," which is about the size of a postage stamp, is now called that only on some old maps. The trail signs are where that description says, but now direct you to "Monk's Pond."
I stumbled onto the Trail by accident, on Saturday, July 16. We were staying at the Apple Tree Inn, which is on the Lenox-Richmond Mountain Road, across the street from the main entrance to Tanglewood. From my Delorme''''s Mass. Atlas, I could see that the grounds were at the foot of a slope heading north to "Mt. Baldhead" on Yokun Ridge. Our hostess was able to direct me to an overgrown logging road that led from the back of the grounds straight up the slope, but was vague on what I would find at the top, except that I would eventually find some real hiking trails.
The logging road was overgrown mainly with thorny raspberry and blackberry bushes, so I was happy to be wearing long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, despite the muggy heat. It ended in a little clearing just a few hundred yards from the crest, and the bushwhack through light-underbrush evergreens was easy. I picked up a path that led westperhaps 1/10th of a mile, where it led into the Old Baldhead Road, running north-south over the crest of the Ridge. I followed it north and in a quarter-mile of less came to the spot where the Burbank Trail stops running with it and becomes a path heading WNW to "Monk's Pond." I kept going north on the Road/Trail, however, and wound up doing the complete loop, but counterclockwise rather than clockwise as in the description.
The description does a nice job evoking the secluded beauty of this hike.
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