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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Warner Hill/ Mt Williams/ Money Brook Falls(Berkshires)

Finally had a full day of nice weather so headed out to the Berkshires to get some great hiking in.  Met up with my old friends Ian and Ethan to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail in Dalton.  This hike leads up to Tully Mountain and then over to Warner Hill on a 6 mile out and back hike.  Thought this tree was interesting along the trail.

A short distance into the hike, a spur trail leads less than .2 miles to the Kay Wood Shelter.  It is well worth the side trip.
Built in 1987, this is a very nice Lean To with bunk beds and ample space.  A picnic table and nearby brook make this a very suitable overnight shelter. 
 A half mile into the hike you come to a power line clearing, which provide some of the best views in the entire hike.  The view is westerly over the southern part of Pittsfield.
 A zoomed in look at Bosquet's ski slopes.
 Pittsfield's rural airport and runways.
 Looking back up at the power lines.
 The trail basically runs 3 miles through deep woods consisting of mostly hardwoods and a couple of damp areas with planks.  Even the summit of Tully Mountain is wooded with no markings or views.
 After almost 3 miles we finally arrived in a very large clearing. 
 The trail continues through the rolling green meadows and climbs up to Warner Hill's summit.
 Summit sign.
 From a large rocky area at the summit are very nice views mostly to the west and northwest.
 The Mount Greylock Range can be clearly seen beyond the nearby ridgeline.
 We stopped and rested for about 20 minutes, soaking in the sunshine and incredible views.  A nice warm breeze added to our comfort. 
 Looking directly west with the Taconic Range and Pittsfield's State Forest running along the state line.
 Jiminy Peak's wind turbines.
 Northwest views with Warner Hill's open meadows.
 Looking back up at Warner Hill's summit.
 A Panoramic View from Warner Hill.
 We saw a few other people on the trail but it was mostly a nice, quiet walk in the woods.  Ethan walking through a sea of ferns.
 The Appalachian Trail.
 Near the parking area on Grange Hall Road is peaceful Barton Brook.
Ian and Ethan were a bit tired from the 6.4 mile RT hike, so they headed home.  It was much too nice out though, so I headed over to the Mount Greylock Reservation where there are many, many trail options.  I opted to start by hitting another section of the Appalachian Trail that heads steeply up from Notch Road to Mount Williams, north of Greylock's summit.
 A blue spur trail meets up with the AT after a short distance. 
 The trail to Mt Williams summit isn't terribly long at .9 mile, but is very steep and rocky.  Met a nice thru hiker on the AT.  He was incredibly friendly and shared some stories with me as we caught up for about 15 minutes.
 Arriving at the summit of 2951 foot Mount Williams. 
 Wind turbines to the north and east on the Hoosac Range.
 Views to the north and east are good but not great with trees crowding the clearing below.
 From Mount Williams summit.
 A zoomed in look from Mount Williams.
 Saw two porcupines today.  This one was taken from my car along Notch Road.
 A short distance up the road is a small pull off for Money Brook Falls. 
 The trail is only .75 miles to the falls, but that can be deceptive because the trail heads steeply down into a ravine.  Footing in a couple of spots can be tricky.
 The falls are actually an elongated area with the main falls being up high and smaller pretty cascades amongst rocks below.
 The upper part of Money Brooks Falls, a 40 foot waterfall.
 Money Brook cascading down through rocks.
 Money Brook is seen flowing downstream below the falls.  This is a very pretty spot, but as stated before, it can be tricky getting to and from this area, especially in wet weather. 
 Near the summit of Greylock on Notch Road is a small trail that leads down to Robinson Point.
 The trail is short but was very wet from recent rains and is fairly steep.  Just off the trail the woods are deep with a lot of hemlock.
 Multiple peaks are visible to the north from this vantage point and can be seen all the way to the horizon.
 This is a truly magical place.  One of the most amazing vistas in all of the Berkshires.
 On the way home, there was a gorgeous sunset from Lebanon Mountain looking west over New York State. 
 A perfect ending to a great day.
Overall, I hiked a total of about 10.2 miles for the day.  Feel great!

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