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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Housatonic Flats and Pfeiffer Arboretum(Great Barrington)

Had a day off today, but extremely humid and unstable air had sparked off numerous thunderstorms this morning, so I had to carefully check the radar before heading out.  I opted to drive east a short distance into the Berkshires where some dry air still remained.
My first stop was Housatonic Flats, a new 26 acre Berkshire Natural Resources Council Property along Route 7 just north of the village of Great Barrington.  A large parking lot is located along the west side of the road, with a kiosk with trail map near the trail head. 
 The trail follows mowed paths that loop through a floodplain forest for about .8 of a mile.
 There is over a half mile of frontage on the Housatonic River, with many nice access spots along the way.
 I really picked up the pace as I rounded the last leg of the loop as the winds picked up and skies turned black.
 I quickly returned to the car, just before the skies opened up unloading heavy rains and storms.  A little while later, skies cleared back up as the rain moved out.  Unfortunately the humidity remained oppressive.
 Next, I visited Pfeiffer Arboretum on the west side of town along Long Pond Road.  This 38 acre property was donated to the Great Barrington Land Conservancy in 1997, and a .75 mile loop trail was constructed several years later in 2002.
 All of the recent rains mean very wet woods, which also means tons of mosquitoes, so bug spray is essential.  Much of the trails here were muddy and damp.
 A short spur trail leads to an observation platform of beautiful and quiet Long Pond.  The wooden platform is in bad shape though, so I walked down through the weeds to the actual shoreline for better views.
More thunderstorms began firing up as I headed back to the car.  Called it quits after a couple of nice, short walks in the southern Berkshires.

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