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Monday, November 3, 2014

Upper Goose Pond(Berkshires)

Got out for a nice day hike to beautiful Upper Goose Pond, along a small section of the Appalachian Trail in the Southern Berkshires today.  There is a large parking lot located just off Route 20 on the Becket/ Lee town line.
 The Appalachian Trail can be found a few hundred yards east along Route 20 from the parking lot.
 Turned out to be a gorgeous November day, as temperatures climbed into the low 50's.
 A short distance into the hike, a sturdy footbridge crosses Greenwater Brook.
 A quiet pool along Greenwater Brook.
A few moments after passing the brook, the AT comes to a large meadow with wide views of 88 acre Greenwater Pond.
The trail gets interesting after leaving the pond's shoreline, crossing above the Mass Pike on two pedestrian bridges.
 AT over eastbound traffic.
 While many trees have lost their leaves already, there are some holding onto their colors.
Welcome to the Berkshires.
After crossing the bridge, the trail follows fencing on a wide snowmobile corridor for a short distance.
 The AT begins a steady climb away from the interstate through a hardwood forest.  Unfortunately the constant sound of traffic ruins the peaceful setting.
 A very pleasant fall afternoon in the Berkshires.
 The trail passes through mixed forest with many more beech and oak coming in on the south facing slopes.  Low mountain laurel and wintergreen mark a prolonged level stretch as well.  
 Here is another level section of trail amongst millions of fallen leaves.
 After about a mile and a half of pleasant woods walking, the AT descends down to Upper Goose Pond's peaceful waters.
 Although within a short distance of the interstate, this 45 acre pond(elevation 1465 feet) feels like you are a million miles away. 
 The trail follows the north shoreline for quite a distance, offering splendid views.  This is a special place.
 A broken down chimney is all that remains of a former sportsman's lodge from the early twentieth century along the north shore.
 A small beach makes a perfect spot to stop and relax and is also utilized as a canoe/ kayak launch site.
 The AT continues south on a small footbridge over Higley Brook.  This marked my turn around point at almost 1.9 miles from the parking lot.
Quiet, meandering Higley Brook as it flows into Upper Goose Pond.
 Fall leaves scattered in Higley Brook's waters.
 A last look at pristine Upper Goose Pond, with the afternoon sun's reflections.
Shadows creeping in, as I cross back over the interstate on the way back to the car. 
A very, nice, relaxing 3.7 mile RT hike.  Would've gone to visit Upper Goose Pond's cabin, which would have added another 1 mile RT, but it was closed for the season.

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