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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mount Prospect via Haley Farm(Mount Greylock-Berkshires)

Got out for a nice afternoon hike up to 2690 foot Mount Prospect from Haley Farm in Williamstown after work.  Haley Farm is located at the very end of Hopper Road(there is a rerouted bridge at the beginning of the road) , which can be found off of Route 43.  Approaching the trailhead near the farm is a commanding view of the west side of Greylock, as well as Stony Ledge(R) and Mount Prospect(L), an area known as "The Hopper".
Farm scene at the trailhead.
Profile of today's goal=2690 foot Mt Prospect.
Views across pastoral Haley Farm fields towards the Taconic Range.
Almost immediately I swung left onto the ski loop trail, which drops directly down to Hopper Brook.
Following along Hopper Brook in the deep valley of the Hopper, where dispersed camping is allowed.
Once on the Money Brook Trail, a footbridge crosses Hopper Brook.
Looking upstream at the beautiful, but cold rushing waters of the brook.
The trail closely follows Hopper Brook much of the way, which makes for pleasant but at times muddy walking.
After a second bridge crossing, the trail begins to climb into evergreens, where I ran into some spotty snow as well.
There are two water crossings over Money Brook, which was a bit of a challenge due to recent rains and spring runoff.
After the second water crossing, the trail climbs up to junction, where the Mt Prospect trail heads left and the Money Brook trail goes right.  I took a left here and almost immediately began ascending up a steep rock face.
The ascent is steep and continuous, but great views back towards the Hopper through the trees are your reward.
Another steep, rocky section of trail.
Broken views through the trees towards rural Williamstown.
After a steep climb, a great view of Stony Ledge can be found over your shoulder.
A break in the trees and bam, you've got a nice view north and west into Williamstown.
Best view of the day!  Great views of the Green and Hoosac Valleys of Williamstown.
Once past the view point, the climb continues, although less steep, for another .2 miles to the wooded summit of Mount Prospect. After 3 miles of hiking, a large rock cairn marks the summit.
Heading back down off the summit.
After a steep descent of the mountain, the trail once again levels off near Money Brook and then Hopper Brook.  I passed the remains of this interesting old foundation along Hopper Brook.
Hiked about 6 miles RT, with 1590 feet elevation gain.

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