You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Berkshires Region
East Mountain State Forest
Chickadee ©
Picnic Table ©
It is always a great day for a picnic in the park.
Availability Search
East Mountain State Forest is a serene and idyllic natural haven nestled in the picturesque region of Massachusetts. This captivating forest spans over acres of lush greenery, offering breathtaking views, diverse wildlife, and endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. With its extensive network of well-maintained trails, visitors can explore the forest's rich ecosystem, observe an array of bird species, encounter charming wildflowers, and immerse themselves in the tranquil ambiance of this captivating oasis. Whether hiking, biking, or simply rejuvenating amidst nature's serenity, East Mountain State Forest provides a sanctuary where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the beauty and tranquility of the great outdoors.
History of the Area
East Mountain State Forest is a protected area located in the town of Mount Washington, Massachusetts. It stretches across 5,995 acres in the Berkshire Hills region and is known for its scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, and recreational opportunities.

The history of East Mountain State Forest dates back to the early 19th century when it was heavily deforested due to farming and logging activities. The land was primarily used for agriculture, but the extensive clear-cutting practices led to soil erosion and degradation.

In the late 19th century, efforts were made to rehabilitate the forest. The state of Massachusetts acquired some of the lands in the early 1900s, and it was officially designated as East Mountain State Forest in 1916. The acquisition aimed to protect the forests and restore the natural ecosystems.

During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) carried out significant reforestation and restoration work in the forest. The CCC constructed fire lanes, built trails, planted trees, and created picnic areas, enhancing the recreational aspects of the forest. Many of the stone walls and other historic features seen today can be attributed to the CCC's efforts.

In the present day, East Mountain State Forest offers various recreational activities for visitors, including hiking, bird watching, camping, cross-country skiing, and more. The forest is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including deer, black bears, wild turkeys, bobcats, and various bird species.

Additionally, East Mountain itself stands at 2,186 feet and provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The forest attracts outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers seeking tranquility and an escape from the urban environment.

The history of East Mountain State Forest showcases a journey from land degradation to environmental restoration, making it a beloved natural asset in Massachusetts.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
Search for a vacation rental

1. Ruggles Pond Loop: This 2-mile loop trail is a popular choice for hikers of all skill levels, featuring the beautiful Ruggles Pond at its center point. The path winds through dense forest and offers several spots to picnic or swim in the pond.

2. Spruce Hill Trail: A moderate difficulty hike that stretches about 3 miles long, this trail leads you up to one of East Mountain State Forest's highest points - Spruce Hill - offering panoramic views over Berkshire County.

3. Hallockville Pond Trail: An easy-to-moderate level hiking route spanning approximately 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain around 500 feet; it takes you past scenic vistas overlooking Hallockville Pond and surrounding woodlands.

4. Tannery Falls Hike: A short but steep half mile trek leading directly towards stunning waterfalls cascading down mossy rocks into a serene pool below surrounded by lush green foliage making it perfect for nature photography enthusiasts.

5. Throne Room Rock Climbing Route: Not exactly a traditional hiking trail but rather more suited for adventurous climbers who wish to scale Throne Room rock face which has varying degrees of climbing difficulties from beginner routes upto expert climbs.

6. Bear Swamp Reserve Trails: These are series interconnected trails covering roughly six miles total within Bear swamp reserve area inside East mountain state park . They offer diverse terrain including wetland areas, hardwood forests & open meadows.

7. Savoy Kanary Kats Snowmobile Club Trails: Though primarily used as snowmobiling tracks during winter months these wide paths also double up as excellent walking /hiking trails off season providing ample opportunity explore deeper parts east mountains away usual crowd.

8. Busby Trail (North Adams): Starting near North Adams city limits this moderately difficult five mile out-and-back track traverses along side Hoosic river before ascending upwards via switchbacks reaching top Busby peak where breathtaking valley view awaits hikers.

9. Todd Mountain Circuit: A challenging 7-mile loop trail that takes you through dense forest, across streams and up to the summit of Todd Mountain for stunning views over East mountain state park & beyond.

10. East Branch Trail: This is a long distance hiking route stretching nearly ten miles one way, it follows along east branch cold river passing by several old growth tree stands , glacial erratics before culminating at scenic overlook spot known as "The Ledges".

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
write a review
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Prospect Lake Park
Prospect Lake Road
North Egremont, MA
Camp Overflow
PO Box 645
Otis, MA
Mountain View Campground Inc
1856 South Main Street
Otis, MA
Laurel Ridge Camping Area
40 Old Blandford Road
East Otis, MA

1. Start by heading towards Route 2 (also known as Mohawk Trail) if you are coming from the east or west.
2. Take Exit 4 onto Whitcomb Hill Road and continue for about half a mile.
3. Turn left onto Central Shaft Road and drive for approximately 5 miles until you reach an intersection with Adams Road.
4. Make a right turn onto Adams Road and proceed for another mile until reaching Notchview Reservation on your left:hand side.

state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks