Hiking the Housatonic River Valley

Hiking the Housatonic River Valley

In picturesque Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut lies the Housatonic River Valley. Nestled in this valley are over 130 miles of some of the most beautiful and scenic hiking trails in the North Eastern United States. Although quite lovely in the fall this hike isn’t for beginners and offers as much challenging terrain as it does scenic beauty.

When you are talking about hiking the Housatonic River Valley you are really talking about traveling about 130 miles of the legendary Appalachian Trail. Although this portion of the trail is well traveled it is arduous and needs to be respected. Hikers will experience significant elevation changes from about 225 feet to over 2500 feet, steep inclines and rocky treacherous trails.

Given the challenge and unpredictable weather of the region it is best to make contingency plans and come well prepared. Making arrangements to resupply and find transportation back to your starting point should be done well in advance. Although there are temporary shelters along the route it would be wise to make no assumptions that they will be available when you get there as they cannot be reserved. Packing your own tent for any form of overnight stay is a must.

The southern portion of the river valley trail starts in Connecticut and offers an opportunity for quality nature photography immediately. The traveler will enjoy both ridge top and closeup views of the Housatonic River and, depending on the season, oak trees losing their leaves.

There is an unfortunate return to reality once you reach Housatonic State Forrest as you will be reminded of just how close you actually are to civilization. However just as you are about to leave the state of Connecticut you find one of the most amazing spots along the entire trail. At the highest peak in Connecticut is a tower that offers panoramic unobstructed views overlooking three states. The tower offers some of the best picture taking along the trail.

As you cross the Massachusetts border you will be challenged by elevation gains but the reward is worth it. As you ascend you will have your first opportunity to see trail-side waterfalls. Once you are along the upper ridge line the magnificent view seems to roll on forever.

After a brief traverse through some lowlands you will be exposed to the very tranquil sections of the trail. From here forward you will mostly stay in secluded woodlands and enjoy natures untapped beauty. You should keep a sharp eye as you will travel past several local landmarks including Beartown State Forrest and several well know ponds. As you pass the ponds opportunities for wildlife photography may present themselves to a prepared traveler. Take advantage of what you can while you are here because as you pass into October State Park vistas become few and far between.

As you exit the Housatonic River Valley and approach Mount Greylock you can look forward to more challenging terrain along this section of the trail. Fortuneteller the famous Bascom Lodge and War Memorial will greet the tired and weary traveler. This is as good a place as any to recharge your batteries and remind yourself why you took the time to enjoy natures wonderment.

As we mentioned earlier you always want to be prepared when traversing terrain like this. The weather in Fall in New England can be quite unpredictable. Items like first aid kits and appropriate camping gear can keep a vacation from becoming a disaster. A good reliable form of communication in case of emergency is also a good idea. Anything from small portable radios to in-vehicle mobile units can be life savers. If you are looking for CB Radios for sale or 10 Meter Radios we can help.

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