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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Williamstown(Field Farm/ Mt Hope Park/ Sheep Hill)

Drove over to Williamstown in the northern Berkshires to do some hiking after work today. First stop was Field Farm, a beautiful old farm tucked into a valley between the Greylock Range and the Taconics.  There are several short trails offering pleasant, mostly level walking.  From the parking area, a very short trail brings you to the shore of a serene pond.  This makes for a nice spot to stop and observe wildlife.
Narcissus in bloom.
Yellow Narcissus flowers blooming beautifully near the pond.
A grouping of pretty Yellow Narcissus.
Right near the parking area are several benches to view the nearby pond.
A six room bed and breakfast provides wonderful mountain views.  The Taconics can be seen rising beyond the house.
Trails lead through open meadows and hayfields with many gorgeous views.
Brodie Mountain's slopes can be seen here from the trail.
A rustic view out past barbed wire to a nearby silo.
Once leaving the open fields and entering the woods, you pass over several small streams and a larger stream that eventually meets up with the west branch of the Green River.
A mostly mixed hardwood forest with slightly rolling topography comprises the Caves Trail.
There are  opportunities to see small caves along this section of the trail.  I even stumbled upon a porcupine in this area, but wasn't lucky enough to get a photo of him.
Trillium Erectum.
A stream winds pleasantly through the woods.
A clearing provides a clear view of the Greylock Range meeting  Brodie Mountain.
A great shot of the Mount Greylock and the Hopper with several homes and farms far below.
The Greylock Massif rising steeply beyond the very green hayfields of Field Farm.
Afternoon shadows creep across the fields as the view of nearly the entire Greylock Range unfolds.
Winding, manicured trails.
An oddly shaped tree made for an interesting stop.
The birds were out and about, soaking in the nice spring day.
A gorgeous look at some Cherry Blossoms near the Guest House
The landscape boasts 13 sculptures and beautiful gardens, as well as the over 4 miles of marked trails.  I hiked a little over 2 miles here today.
After leaving Field Farm I stopped by nearby Mount Hope Park, a small picnic spot at the confluence of the Green River and Hopper Brook.  Hopper Brook, which flows down from Greylock, can be seen flowing here from a small overlook.
A small walk down a slope, affords a very nice view of the Hopper's clear waters flowing into the Green River here.
Looking upstream at the Green River's rushing waters.
The crystal clear mountain water is a real treat to see.
Was entertained by some of rock shapes, this one looking much like a face.
Walked around the shores of the water for several minutes before heading to nearby Sheep Hill, which would be my last destination for the day.
Josiah's Pond is a very quiet, relaxing spot next to the main parking area.  There are many frogs and other amphibians found in these waters.
Sheep Hill is a 50 acre preserve, formerly known as Sunny Brook Farm, and is comprised of mostly open meadows and some woodlands.  The most outstanding feature of the property is its steep slopes and tremendous views from the top of the hill.
As I climbed the steep hill, I looked back several times at the barns and outbuildings.
Continuing the climb.  The shadows from the early evening sun made for interesting contrasts.
After getting about 2/3 of the way up the hill, majestic views of the Greylock Range begin to unfold.
A look to the north provides a clear view all the way into southern Vermont.
From the top of the hill the barns and outbuildings are buried in the shadows, while the mountains take center stage.
East Mountain's western slopes can be seen dotted with rural Williamstown houses.
Nearby Stone Hill, with its own set of trails, rises directly above Sheep Hill's parking area to the east.
Shadows and sunshine.
An amazing spot with unbeatable views of Mount Greylock, doubles as a popular place for couples to exchange vows.
Doesn't get any better than this.
Greylock's tower can be seen at the summit, the highest point in the state.
Finally coming to the end of the trail and back to the beautifully typical New England farm.
All told, I hiked just over 3 miles total for the day, but really jammed a lot into these 3 amazing miles.  What a pleasantly, cool but nice early May evening.

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