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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Yokun Ridge-North & Windsor Jambs(Berkshires)

Went for a nice walk along the Burbank Trail, which is part of Yokun Ridge in the southern Berkshires this morning.  The trail actually follows a ridge along the southern end of Lenox Mountain and is accessed from a parking lot along Lenox Road known as Olivia's Overlook.  The east facing view of Stockbridge Bowl from Olivia's Overlook is nothing short of spectacular.
 After carefully crossing Lenox Road(use extreme caution) to the north, a kiosk with trail map and historical information is found as you enter the woods.
 The Burbank Trail forms a loop of just over 3 miles, with an option to go clockwise or counter-clockwise.  I chose to go clockwise, and soon came to a nice western viewpoint from a power line cut.
 Continuing north through a mixed forest on a cold winter morning.
 After a little over one mile of hiking, there is a fine man made lookout with great views over the town of Richmond to the west.
The view to the north and east.
 After leaving the vista, the trail soon turns right(east) for a distance.  Just prior to turning right again(south), you will arrive at the remnants of the 19th century Gorman homesite, marked by a stone engraving.
 All that remains from the former 44 acre Gorman homesite are cellar holes are stone walls.
 Crossing puncheon southward on the blue blazed trail.
 Old stone walls indicate former pasture land.
 Shadow Brook, a small stream that flows south near the trail, on its way Monks Pond and continues down the eastern slopes of Lenox Mountain before emptying into Stockbridge Bowl.
Arriving at Monks Pond.  This was the former Shadowbrook Estate's reservoir and got the name Monks Pond during the twentieth century, when a Jesuit order owned the property.
 A small, wooden old building stands in the pond, with strict instructions to keep out.
 Morning sunshine emerging  as I pass a east facing view from the power line cut. 
Completed the full loop, arriving back at Olivia's Overlook for a quiet 3.2 mile RT hike in the woods.

Had a little extra time to do some exploring in the Berkshires, so decided to visit Windsor Jambs in the Windsor State Forest.  Just getting to the Jambs can be a very challenging experience this time of year.  A former(now unmaintained) parking lot is found along gravel Schoolhouse Road in the extreme eastern end of Berkshire County.  Winter is in full effect here, but the gravel road was manageable today.  I was forced to park along the road due to snow and ice elsewhere, and then put my micro spikes on to make my way from there.
 The micro spikes were a god send and it would've been impossible to access this area without them. There is a fence along the steep banks of the brook for safety precautions.
 The incredible view downstream of the gorge.
 Icy Windsor Jambs Brook funnels through the rocky gorge with extreme power.
 A quiet section of the brook, flowing through the winter woods just upstream of the falls.
Windsor Jambs is a beautiful spot in a remote area and highly recommended to anyone in the area.

Back home in the valley, strong snow squalls began blowing though during the afternoon, making it finally begin to feel like winter.  The scene below is from Nassau's village gazebo.

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