Monroe State Forest

North Adams, Massachusetts 01247

Monroe State Forest

Monroe State Forest Professional Review and Guide

"Nestled in a corner of Massachusetts more famous for its former nuclear plant, the 4000-acre Monroe State Forest offers a quieter setting than other Berkshire natural areas. With more than 10 miles of trails weaving through old-growth hemlock, paralleling cascading brooks, scaling picturesque hardwood ridges, and passing three overnight lean-tos, Monroe is the perfect place for half-day, all-day, or multi-day adventures. This challenging circuit uses the forest’s entire trail network, including a spur to a perch high above the Deerfield River. Since some of the routes are lightly used and not well blazed, lessexperienced hikers should remain on the clearly marked Dunbar Brook Trail—the loop’s most scenic section."

More Monroe State Forest Professional Reviews and Guides

"From stone-age natives to a 4.8-mile train tunnel to a nuclear power plant, this region has been home to all stages of humanity. This varied loop climbs to the wooded peak of Spruce Mountain, with some beautiful views to the south along power-line cuts. It then descends to Hunt Hill for an optional side trip to a stone balcony outlook over the Deerfield River Valley, and completes the loop with a flat hike along the dirt Raycroft Road.

As you drive west on MA 2 from Charlemont, you’ll leave the Pioneer Valley and climb a roller-coaster steep mountain pass through the Hoosac Range, with rocky cliffs so high your car radio loses reception. A series of hotels and souvenir shops boast 50-mile views from observation towers along the hairpin switchbacks, culminating at the 2,240-foot Whitcomb Summit."

"This 4,321-acre Massachusetts state forest in the northern portion of the Hoosac Range features the beautiful mixed woods along Dunbar Brook and the enfolding rounded hills. Remote, sparkling, and pristine, Dunbar Brook hosts the best brook hike in the entire three-state area. Elsewhere, trails travel hill, ridge, and hollow.

From the River Road trailhead, ascend the service road near the utility line to begin Dunbar Brook Trail. Hike the south shore upstream, paralleling a boardwalk that leads to a small dam. Dunbar Brook feeds into the Deerfield River, a critical water in this power company corridor. Initially, overlook a deep, narrow reservoir shaped by the dam; the wild brook awaits upstream."

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Trail Information

North Adams
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
10.3
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
7 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
USGS: North Adams, MA; Rowe, MA
Local Maps