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Friday, August 4, 2017

Mountain Meadow Preserve(Berkshires)

Straddling the Massachusetts/ Vermont state line, the Trustees of Reservations 180 acre Mountain Meadow Preserve offers easy to moderate hiking on up to 4 miles of trails.  I parked at the end of Mason Street in Williamstown, which is found east off of Route 7 just below the state line.  As I arrived in the parking lot at an elevation of just under 700 feet, the sun was shining bright, but the humidity was quite strong and thunderstorms were firing up all around the area.  I began by following the Niles Trail, which follows a wide, mowed pathway uphill towards the main meadow.  Immediately upon arriving at the meadow, I was struck by the amount of wildflowers blowing in the breeze.  Here is a look east towards Mason Hill.
 I turned left to follow the Meadow Loop, where I was soon greeted with pleasant views towards the Greyock Range.
 Continuing along the loop, I arrived at a small clearing atop a knob in the meadow, where there are some views west towards the Taconic Range.
 Seating atop the clearing.
 Once leaving the meadow loop, the Niles Trail continues east and enters the woods.  From there, the trail splits and I took a left onto the summit trail.  The summit is fully wooded at an elevation of about 1120 feet.
 I continued along many of the trails which follow a series of woods roads towards the Vermont state line.
 A spur trail heads south to a clearing known as Mausert's Camp, a family getaway that burned to the ground over 40 years ago.  All that remains today are a pair of rustic chimneys.

 Mausert's Camp. 
 I followed a series of trails running the perimeter of the Preserve to the south, then east and back north into Vermont.  There are no markings telling you when you cross the state line.
 Passing by a spot referred to as the gravel pits.
 I headed all the way north to the Vermont parking lot, then followed gravel Benedict Road back to the Niles Trail.  The Niles Trail heads due south from the road, passing another large meadow, where unfortunately there are no views.
I continued south onto the Williamstown side of the preserve again, heading all the way back to the car from there.  Hiked nearly all of the trails at the preserve for a total of just under 4 miles RT.

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