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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Race Brook Falls and Mt Race(Berkshires)

A cloudy Sunday morning was giving way to a beautiful summer afternoon as I headed down to the southern Berkshires to hike to Race Brook Falls and Mt Race. There is room for several cars at the trailhead along Route 41 just north of the Connecticut state line in quiet, rural Sheffield, Ma.  You first follow Race Brooks Falls Trail for 2 miles up to the Appalachian Trail.  A winding part of the trail through the only open fields you will encounter.
The rest of the Race Brook Falls Trail is a shaded walk through deep woods.
Much of the trail follows babbling Race Brook as you climb up through hemlock woods.
The sun enhancing a huge boulder encountered on the trail.
A twisted tree.
The trail climbs steeply away and above the brook for a distance.
There are steep sections which provide broken glimpses down through the trees.
No looking back.

Near the lower falls is a very steep gorge.
Beautiful lower Race Brook Falls.
The crystal clear water in the pool below the lower Falls.
The sun trying to shine through the dense cover.
Ground level perspective below the lower Falls.
A smaller cascade falling between green, mossy rocks.
A short distance up the trail past the lower falls is Upper Falls.
The top section of the Upper Falls.
Picturesque Upper Race Brook Falls.
Sunny mist
Sunny skies through hardwoods.
A small informal path leads off the trail to a magnificent east view of the Housatonic Valley.
Race Brook winding its way down.
A log footbridge crosses Race Brook just before the end of Race Brook Falls Trail.
Downstream from the footbridge.
After 2 miles of hiking you arrive at the Appalachian Trail.  Turning to the south the trail winds through a much more open section towards Mt Race's upper slopes.
Open rocky sections continue up to the top ridgeline.
Once on top of the mountain, blue skies and views surround you.
Much of the summit is covered by rock and stunted trees.
East views over the Housatonic Valley are amazing and far reaching.
Although only 2365 feet in elevation, the rocky summit provides some of the finest views in all of the Berkshires.
Just to the north is the rounded dome of Mount Everett.
Far reaching views beyond the trees.
Amazing vistas from the summit of 2,365 foot Mount Race.
South facing views into Connecticut and Twin Lakes
Gorgeous panorama.
Housatonic farmland in southern Berkshire County and northern Litchfield County in Connecticut.
Looking back up at the summit.
The trail follows an open rocky section of the summit.
Returned back down the mountain on the AT to the Race Brook Falls Trail to the car.  Hiked a total of 6.6 miles RT on a spectacular day.

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