Beartown State Forest

Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230

Beartown State Forest

Beartown State Forest Professional Review and Guide

"Eight miles east of Great Barrington. A comfortable pond loop and challenging, often tricky-to-follow bridle trail loop explore the scenic woodland of this state forest.

Special attractions: Benedict Pone, beaver ponds and swamps, rich deciduous forest, limited vista, flowering shrubs and wildflowers, wildlife discovery, fall foliage."

More Beartown State Forest Professional Reviews and Guides

"With over 12,000 acres to explore, the thought of hiking in Beartown State Forest may seem overwhelming. The Benedict Pond Loop Trail is a good place to start as it offers wonderful access to the water and the woods, and it connects to the Appalachian Trail (AT) for those who want to take a bit more of a hike.

During the warm months, the pristine 35- acre pond attracts swimmers, boaters, and fishermen, but try visiting in late fall and early spring to avoid the crowds. Year-round camping is also available at Beartown, giving you and your pooch the opportunity to spend a few days exploring the trails."

"Experience spring in Beartown without fixing your bike with pontoons. From the Benedict Pond Visitors Center, head north on Beartown Road. The pavement allows for a fast-rolling warm-up, but keep your eye out for frost heaves, divots, and bulges in the road.

Tread: 8.4 miles on dirt road; 6.5 miles on paved road."

"In the towns of South Lenox and Monterey, 4 miles south of Exit 2 on Interstate 90. At the beginning of the ride, the trail is somewhat eroded and can be wet.

Also, watch out for occasional motorized off-road vehicles and light traffic on the steep paved descent on Beartown Road at the end of the ride."

"A nice ride on wide forest roads that cut through deep woods, past scenic wetlands and beaver ponds, and up and over Mount Wilcox. Beartown State Forest has a wealth of recreational opportunities throughout its 10,000-plus acres. Benedict Pond offers swimming and paddling as well as a pleasant campground with sites near the water.

Hikers can stroll Pond Loop Trail that encircles the pond, the Appalachian Trail that slices through the forest for miles, or any of a number of other paths. For mountain bikers, though, the draw is miles of state forest roads with good, predictable roadbeds that let you tailor a trip to your abilities."

Beartown State Forest Reviews

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Awesome-with a 10 month old in a backpack, little legs of six years old, two older kids, mom and dad and it was just great. We took the bridle trail from the pond and discovered it was a litle longer hike than we anticipated. No problem we were able to veer off onto the wilderness trail and around to lookout trail. A pretty easy hike with a great view at lookout trail. Expect many many mosiquitos and such. Will do this trail again and next time hit the Ap trail.
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The pond loop is short but beautiful. I thought I would extend my hike on something labeled Bridle Trail, just west of Benedict Pond, but it was really an ATV trail. This is just my opinion, but I think ATVs ruin trails. This one was so gashed up, eroded and rutted that no one would want to hike on it. Beartown needs more trails just for hikers.

Beartown State Forest Photos

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Trail Information

Great Barrington
Nearby City
450 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Spring through fall for hiking, day-use: 8AM to sunset.
Beartown State Forest, 413-528-0904
Local Contacts
State forest map.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018