Mount Race Via Race Brook Falls, Massachusetts

This is one of the best, most unique, and exciting hikes I have been on in a long time. Actually, one of the top hikes I have been on in the region overall. I would say if you are capable of doing a 6.75 mile hike and willing to drive just over an hour out of Albany and into the Berkshires (closer than many Catskill and ADK hikes), put Mount Race from the Race Brook Falls trail [Gravel pull off near intersection of Salisbury Rd and Route 41 in Sheffield, Massachusetts] at the very top of your list.

race_brook_falls_trail_A gloriously strenuous hike with a three tier waterfall, beautiful woods and mountain views, including a section of the Appalachian Trail – you really have everything you can ask for in an excellent well marked and maintained package. You will begin on the blue blazed trail and follow this for 2.6 miles. Starting in the woods you will soon come to a sign pointing towards the Lower Falls. Take the detour, it’s worth your time.

race_brook_falls_berkshiresA quick and scenic jaunt uphill following the stream will lead you to your first section of this magnificent waterfall. It’s partially blocked by piles of rocks and debris, but epic all the same.

race_brook_falls_sheffield_maContinue following that clairvoyantly clear and crisp stream up, up, uphill into the woods.

race_brook_falls_maAs you gain your first sweaty bout of elevation, you’ll notice a great bend in the creek.

mount_race_berkshiresKeep sweating, heading, up and you will be rewarded for your efforts with the second,

mount_race_maand third tier of the waterfall.

mount_race_sheffieldAll so different, all so amazing, can you tell I was absolutely smitten with this adventure? As you keep heading up you’ll get a sneak peek of the sprawling scene below.

mt_race_roaring_brook_fallsKeep trucking, following blue, beside the creek, where there are STILL numerous tiny little waterfalls and crystal clear pools.

mount_race_roaring_brook_falls_ mount_race_roaring_brook_falls_berkshiresThey really aren’t so tiny, still pretty spectacular, and you’ll get to the top of the cliff where the whole epic scenario begins.

mount_race_roaring_brook_falls_sheffield_Once you’re there you’ll soon find a sign that points to the Race Brook Falls campsite, be sure to follow in that direction.

race_brook_falls_campsiteCross the sturdy log bridge and you’ll find yourself in a new sort of environment, quite swampy.

appalachian_trailBefore long you’ll hit the junction with the Appalachian trail, clearly marked. You’ll want to turn LEFT, heading SOUTH on the white trail, where the environment seems to change again.

mount_race_appalachian_trail_Now you’ll find some rocks to gently scramble up and a forest of stunted pines, keep your eyes peeled for turkey.

mount_race_sheffield_maYou have under a mile to go to make it to the summit of Mount Race – filled with splendorous views stretching in every direction, for miles and miles.

mt_race_sheffield_maWatch for hawks and vultures. You may feel ready to turn back and head down to the car when you reach the summit, but don’t be contented right away. If you continue down the path for some time you’ll continue to find compelling views, for about another half mile.

race_brook_falls_mt_race_1 race_mountain_sheffield_You’ve already come this far! When you are truly satisfied head back the way you came – DOWNhill.

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