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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bartholomew's Cobble(Berkshires)

Went out for a nice walk at Bartholomew's Cobble in the southern Berkshires on yet another picture perfect spring afternoon.  The  Reservation is a property of the Trustees of Reservations and covers 329 acres in the rural town of Sheffield just north of the Connecticut border.  To access the site, follow Route 7 south out of Great Barrington into Sheffield, then take a right onto Route 7A, another right onto Rannapo Road, and one last right onto Weatogue Road where parking is found on the left.
 I paid the $5 non member fee and quickly got going.  I first crossed gravel Weatogue Road to the Tractor Path in wide open Ashley Field before entering the woods on my way to Hurlburt's Hill.
 The Tractor Path is a wide woods road that is very easy to follow beneath a canopy of springtime blossoms.
A little over half a mile climb leads to open views of the rolling countryside on 1000 foot Hurlburt Hill.
 From the top of the hill is a fantastic panorama of the southern Berkshires from Mount Everett on the left all the way across the Housatonic Valley to East Mountain on the right.
 Looking directly north from Hurlburt's Hill, which actually lies nearly on top of the Massachusetts/ Connecticut state line.
 After leaving the long distant views, I dropped back down the Tractor Path to the Tulip Tree Trail, which descends steadily through the woods and crosses back over Weatogue Road to the Spero Trail.  From here there are very pleasant views of the quiet Housatonic River.
 Still reflections on the tiny Half River.
 The Spero Trail winds along the southern portion of the property through a mix of woods and meadows.  This was a very relaxing area, where the calm waters of the Housatonic were very calming and the only sounds were from nearby birdsongs.
 I followed the Bailey Trail north from here to the Ledges Trail, which then drops down to Corbin's Neck, a peninsula where the river bends.
 The quiet countryside along the wide Housatonic River.  The water was so still that it actually had a relaxing effect on me as I wandered along the banks.
 A guardrail and stone steps climbing up the Ledges Trail.
 Looking up at the towering cobbles.
The large stone cobbles that are the property's namesake, along the Ledges Trail.
 I crossed back over the road to the Tractor Path again which meets up with the Hal Borland Trail.  This trail winds past Ashley Field and a section of barbed wire fencing on private property.
 A small foot bridge crosses tiny Stony Brook on the way to the Ashley House.
 Stopped for a quick look at the Col. Ashley House, another Trustees property.  This was the home of Colonel John Ashley and built all the way back in 1735. 
After leaving the Ashley House, I retraced my footsteps to the Borland Trail which leads right back to the parking lot and my car.  Hiked a total of 4 peaceful, relaxing miles on another great spring day.  This place is truly special and if you haven't been here before, I highly recommend a visit.

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