Berlin Mountain, Taconic Hike

I have had Berlin Mountain [Intersection of Torrey Woods Rd and Berlin Road, Williamstown MA – continue on Berlin and the parking lot will pop up on the left – The trail is a two minute walk back down the road on the same side as the lot] on my radar for quite some time. It piqued my interest because it is the highest mountain in New York that isn’t located in the Catskills or Adirondacks, a pretty neat peak to bag. I was always a bit hesitant to head out there because there isn’t a ton of information, or there is conflicting information on the trail. I gathered all of my notes from different sources and decided to just go for it on a sunny 50 degree February day. It was a bit colder up in the mountains, but still quite pleasant. We easily found the lot and the trail was marked just fine! There are different ways to get to the summit, on this day we chose the Class of ’33 trail, a 4 mile round trip out and back.

berlin_mountain_class_33_trail_The blue blazes will take you to the top, so follow them closely. I don’t own spikes, which are helpful for hiking up icy mountains, but it’s been a strangely warm winter so I figured I would survive without them. In some spots there was no snow, some spots a sprinkling, and in only a few short stretches sheets of ice.

berlin_mountainSpikes certainly would have been helpful, but we managed alright. The trail is pretty gentle initially. A few ups and downs. You will have to cross two brooks, which were running high when we were there. Haley’s Brook was crystal clear, I stopped in brook on a big rock to marvel at the mosaic of colorful rocks and leaves serene sitting underwater.

berlin_mountain_class_33_trail_888Ahh, nature. You will quit your meditative thoughts soon enough, because this trail picks up big time. You will start ascending quickly, but there are moments of reprieve. If you’re panting, stop and take a look around. Way up high partial views begin to pop up.

berlin_mountain_class_33_Closer to the top it was snowier, of course due to the elevation. We didn’t see anything in the way of wildlife, but there were a ton of signs that many different animals had been about.

berlin_mountain_Couldn’t guess who all of these tracks came from, let me know if you can identify them. It’s only two miles up, so before long we were almost there. The last stretch is the steepest, almost ridiculous, but it’s a short distance. Soon the tree line will recede and open up to a big blue beautiful sky!

berlin_mountain_class_33_trail_11It’s a gorgeous summit, at 2,818 feet.

berlin_mountain_88Looking around you might notice a grave, an old car bumper, wind turbines, and Mount Greylock in the distance.

berlin_mountain_summitWe had the summit blissfully to ourselves, and only saw one pair of hikers during our trek. It was a great hike and the way down seemed real fast. When we got back to the car we were hungry! The mountain is in an interesting spot straddling the border of NY and northern MA. So many options for lunching. We decided to pass on the Berkshires for the day and take Route 7 home, passing through Bennington Vermont, and some tasty chow. Three states, two sandwiches, and one summit later, it was a Sunday to remember!

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