Getting ThereSee the "Getting There" section from the main page.
Route DescriptionAt 2.5 miles (5 round trip) with less than 600' of vertical gain this trail is an easy class 1 walk-up that provides ample time to take in the views. However, due to the undulating nature of region there is a 2000' total vertical gain, those not in decent shape will find it moderately challenging.
The trail starts at the western edge of the park's headquarters parking lot. Walk the lot's rope barrier to the clearly identifiable trail. The path leads due west, and will continue on a westerly path for the first mile.
As you start your hike, crossing a large open field, you will quickly (1/4 mile) drop from approximately 1700' to 1490'. Once you have decended to your lowest point on the hike you will come to Ashley Hill Brook
Until you reach the summit, you will be provided constant shade and cover by the oak and maple trees that are common to Southern New England forests, In the summer they will provde ample shade, while putting on a magnificant display in the fall.
You continue on the open and obvious trail, following the brook for another 1/4 mile. At approximately 1 mile, a spur trail to the south (left side) provides access to multiple camp sites. If you intend to stay overnight set up camp early, and then hit the summit, otherwise, continue heading north-west.
The trail is gradual, well maintained, and very wide providing clear and easy walking. At about 1 1/4 miles the trail climbs a small hill and changes direction again, now turning south-west. As the trail turns, you enter a restricted wilderness area, where cmaping is prohibited and off-trail exploring should be at a minimum.
Continue down the trail until you reach a make-shift cabin. The cabin is open to the public and free to use. To gain the summit find one of the small, unmarked trails to the right (west) of the cabin. A quick 20' up and you are now walking on the Taconic Crest trail. Walk along the ridge locatating the USGS marker and remnants of an old fire tower.
The summit is open and clear with views extending into Conneticut, New York and 100 miles north. On clear days Greylock can be seen. In the late summer, it is covered with blueberries.
After you've had your fill, return to your car following the same trail, being sure to pause at the brook crossing and walking north along the shoreline to enjoy a snack on one of the large boulders peppered through-out the water's path
For an extended hike, instead of heading north-west off the summit, you can take another spur trail that continues north. This trail will take you to Bash Bish Mountain and Falls.
Essential GearHigh leather boots and plenty of food to munch on while you enjoy your panoramic views.
The area is notorious for timber rattlers, so the more protection the better, consider a snake bite kit if you plan on doing much off trail hiking.
Overnight camping requires food be hung or stored due to black bears.