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Friday, February 3, 2017

West Mountain and Smith Mountain(Pittsfield State Forest-Berkshires)

Had some time after work, so headed to the nearby Pittsfield State Forest to bushwhack a couple of peaks just over the state line in Massachusetts.  I drove to the very end of West Street, a short distance past Berkshire Community College and parked there with the goal of hiking the old discontinued Lebanon Springs Road east for a half mile before beginning my bushwhack north.  Unfortunately, I left the camera's card at home so I was stuck using my cell phone for photos. 
Hiking up the old road.  Elevation at trail head was about 1220 feet.
After leaving the old road/ trail, I headed north through a hardwood forest and a light, fluffy 3 inches of snow atop hard, crusty snow.  Looking back southeast through the bare trees.
 Nearby Doll Mountain sitting just to the south.
The climb up West Mountain is steady but not difficult.  Here are some more screened views west towards New York.  Did see a lot of coyote tracks on West Mtn.
 Reached the wooded 1950 foot summit of West Mountain after about 1.7 miles.  At least I thought it was fully wooded.
Just a few yards east of the summit is a man made clearing with a great view east towards OnotaLake and Pittsfield.  I had no idea this view was here and will have to come back with my good camera for better photos.
 Continuing north past West Mountain, there were still screened views towards New York state.
 Up and over a small unnamed bump between West and Smith Mountain.
 After about 2.7 miles arrived at 2170 foot Smith Mountain's wooded, but fairly open summit area.
 Dropped north off of Smith Mountain with a some peek a boo views northwest.
 A soon picked up the Taconic Skyline Trail and followed that south.  Just about 20 yards off trail, I discovered a large beaver pond. 
 Continued south on the Taconic Skyline Trail until taking a left onto the CCC Trail far below West Mountain's summit.  The CCC Trail drops deep between Doll Mountain and West Mountain following Lily Brook heading south then east.  Eventually I met back up with my original tracks and followed them east back to my car at the end of West Street.
Very disappointed that I didn't have use of my good camera for this trip.  A little over 5 miles RT with about 1200 feet elevation gain.

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