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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Laura's Tower(Berkshires)

Had to take advantage of a brief period of gorgeous sunshine this afternoon, so did a short hike up to Laura's Tower in the town of Stockbridge, just before severe weather moved in.  To access the property, which is part of the Laurel Hill Association, turn south on Route 7 in Stockbridge(at the Red Lion Inn), then proceed to Park Street, where you will bear left(east), and then follow that road all the way to the end.  A small parking area, with room for up to about ten cars is found here.
The trail begins by crossing the Housatonic River on the beautiful constructed Goodrich Memorial footbridge.
 The Housatonic River, just downstream below the bridge.
I basically took off running up the trail, determined to finish the hike before the stormy weather moved in.
 A trail split is well marked, where a right heads up to the tower, and a right heads down into the Glen.
 I took the Tower trail, continuing a steady ascent up through a gorgeous old pine and hemlock forest.
 After a scant .75 miles, and 600 feet elevation gain, I arrived at the metal tower.  Although it appears to be in some despair, it is sturdy and safe.
 From the top of the tower, the views are very good.  A nice, open west view to the Taconics is the most open spot. 
 Looking down at the foot trail below the tower.
 The north facing view provides an outstanding look towards Mount Greylock the highest point in the state.
 After enjoying the tower views, I quickly dropped down, retracing my steps through the spring woods.  Passing by a lovely fern glade here.
 Once back down at the railroad tracks, which sits beside the River at the trail's beginning, I could see the storm clouds building just to the south.
Would've loved to have gotten out and explored more, but within a half hour of finishing the hike, strong thunderstorms were pouring down.  Hiked about 1.5 miles RT.

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