We went hiking this weekend at Mt. Everett State Reservation in southwestern MA. It is part of a (free) state forest area, and delightfully quiet (we only saw one other couple hiking the entire time – and that was at the very beginning!). Despite the heat (it was 90+ close to home, though the temperature dropped as we got into the mountains), we were able to get in a good workout, great views, and a little break from the craziness everyday life. Of course, we took lots of precautions to keep our pups cool!
We really liked this hike. There was a pond close to the parking area (where Jeb and the dogs took a swim), and the trail (which is part of the Appalachian Trail) was easy to follow and had lots of interesting features. The parking area is partway up to the summit, but we took the “Guilder’s Pond Trail” the rest of the way. The trail begins with a fire road and switches to singletrack about halfway up. There’s an AT shelter and nice overlook (with a bench!) around the same area that the trail changes.
With lots of stops, the entire hike to the summit (2900+ feet) only took about 45 minutes. There is lots of vegetation at the summit, and a lovely view of NY, CT, and MA (since the mountain is situated in the SW corner of the state). Along the trail, we saw plenty of wildlife – a turtle, frogs, mudpuppies (in the pond), and a rabbit! There are warnings that rattlesnakes and black bears live in the area, and I am NOT disappointed that I didn’t see any of those!
All-in-all, we had a great day – there are some other natural attractions (including the largest waterfall in Massachusetts), so we are definitely planning to head back to the area and check out some other trails.