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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pine Mountain-Pittsfield State Forest(Berkshires)

 Went for a nice hike up 2220 foot Pine Mountain on Friday afternoon in the Pittsfield State Forest, just over the New York state line in Massachusetts.  Got started by parking across from the Ski Lodge in a small lot along Parker Brook.
 After passing a kiosk, the trail begins by crossing a bridge to the west and entering the woods.
 You will soon pass a small pond just downhill on the left of the trail.
 Followed the Hawthorne Trail up for nearly a mile through a mixed forest.
 As you gain elevation, the sounds of Hawthorne Brook can be heard flowing down a steep ravine to your left.
 A well marked bend in the trail.
 With only an inch or so of snow on the ground, the trail had mostly good footing, but there were some slick spots.
 The late afternoon sun breaking through the clouds and the bare winter woods.
 Continuing the ascent up the mountain provides decent views to the east towards Onota Lake through the leafless trees.
 More east facing views.
 A view of an unnamed ridge just to the south as I neared the Pine Mountain Trail.
 After about half a mile on the Pine Mountain Trail and 1.4 miles from the parking lot, I arrived at the wooded summit area of Pine Mountain. Total elevation gain of nearly 1100 feet.
 A stone post marks the 2220 foot summit of Pine Mountain.
 Continuing a bit past the summit to a small ledge, a clear cut provides the best view of the day to the north and west over nearby Tilden Swamp.
 Just beyond the view point is a steep section of trail as it drops down off Pine Mountain's west ridge.
 I followed the Pine Mountain Trail as it winds down towards Tilden Swamp before meeting up with the Parker Brook Trail.  I then followed Parker Brook Trail as it drops steeply down through a ravine to the east.
 Continuing down the steep Park Brook Ravine, passing just beneath the steep slopes of Pine Mountain.
 Near the bottom of the Parker Brook Trail, you get your best glimpse of the babbling brook.  I turned south onto the Vosburg Trail just past this spot, completing a loop back to the Hawthorne Trail, before dropping back down to the car.
Completed a great 3.3 mile RT hike on a relatively mild January day.

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