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Monument Mountain
Mountain/Rock

Monument Mountain

 
Monument Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Massachusetts, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 42.24425°N / 73.33494°W

Object Title: Monument Mountain

County: Berkshire

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 1642 ft / 500 m

 

Page By: Flanders

Created/Edited: Mar 22, 2006 / Mar 22, 2006

Object ID: 182667

Hits: 6979 

Page Score: 78.5%  - 10 Votes 

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Overview

North of Great Barrington, nestled in the Housatonic River Valley, lies a small mountain with a large history.

Mounment Mountain, or Squaw Peak, received its name from one of its most prominent features - a large pile of stones piled at the base of its southern slope. Folklore has it that the stones were placed there by the Mohicans as a monument to mark a Mohican maiden's final resting place after choosing to leap from the mountain's cliffs to her death rather than marry a husband not of her choosing. Other tales hint that it is a burial ground for a local chief or mass burial ground of the Mohican's enemies.

Mounment Mountain is one of the many parcels of land owned by The Trustees of Reservations, a group in Massachussetts dedicated to the purchase and preservation of the states last great wild places. With only 530 acres of land, and less than 5 miles of trails, this mountain is more for those looking for an easy hike to pass a couple of hours rather than someone out for a serious climb.

But, if appreciated for what it is, it can provide hikers with many rewards including views into New York, the South Taconic Range, Butternut Mountain, and Mount Greylock. Not to mention the mountain's own white quartzite cliffs that plunge 400' to the base of the mountain and a column of loose stone known as Devils Pulpit.

Devils Pulpit
 


While there are three named trails - Indian Monument, Hickey, and Squaw Peak - only Squaw Peak leads to the summit. With close to 20,000 visitors a year the trails are well traveled and can be hiked by people of all ages and conditioning.

Getting There

Directions-Map

From intersection of Routes 7 and 102 at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge center, take Route 7 south and follow for 3 mi. Entrance and parking are on right. From Great Barrington, take Route 7 north and follow for 4 mi. to entrance and parking (56 cars) on left.


Red Tape

There are no fees or permits required to enter the Reservation, although a donation is appreciated. Camping, fires and off trail travel is prohibited. While the cliffs might appear to be prime for climbing rock climbing is prohibited, as is mountain biking.

Camping

There are no campsites in the immediate area (5 mile radius) and campig is prohibited on the mountain.

Weather Conditions

Weather for Great Barrington, MA


Inspired Writing

1824
MONUMENT MOUNTAIN
by William Cullen Bryant

MONUMENT MOUNTAIN -

Thou who wouldst see the lovely and the wild
Mingled in harmony on Nature's face,
Ascend our rocky mountains. Let thy foot
Fail not with weariness, for on their tops
the beauty and the majesty of earth,
Spread wide beneath, shall make thee to forget
The steep and toilsome way. There, as thou stand'st,
The haunts of men below thee, and around
The mountain-summits, thy expanding heart
Shall feel a kindred with that loftier world
To which thou art translated, and partake
The enlargement of thy vision. Thou shalt look
Upon the green and rolling forest-tops,
And down into the secrets of the glens,
And streams that with their bordering thickets strive
To hide their windings. Thou shalt gaze, at once,
Here on white villages, and tilth, and herds,
And swarming roads, and there on solitudes
That only hear the torrent, and the wind,
And eagle's shriek. There is a precipice
That seems a fragment of some mighty wall,
Built by the hand that fashioned the old world,
To separate its nations, and thrown down
When the flood drowned them. To the north, a path
Conducts you up the narrow battlement.
Steep is the western side, shaggy and wild
With mossy trees, and pinnacles of flint,
And many a hanging crag. But, to the east,
Sheer to the vale go down the bare old cliffs-
Huge pillars, that in middle heaven upbear
Their weather-beaten capitals, here dark
With moss, the growth of centuries, and there
Of chalky whiteness where the thunderbolt
Has splintered them. It is a fearful thing
To stand upon the beetling verge, and see
Where storm and lightning, from that huge gray wall,
Have tumbled down vast blocks, and at the base
Dashed them in fragments, and to lay thine ear
Over the dizzy depth, and hear the sound
Of winds, that struggle with the woods below,
Come up like ocean murmurs. But the scene
Is lovely round; a beautiful river there
Wanders amid the fresh and fertile meads,
The paradise he made unto himself,
Mining the soil for ages. On each side
The fields swell upward to the hills; beyond,
Above the hills, in the blue distance, rise
The mountain-columns with which earth props heaven. -
There is a tale about these reverend rocks,
A sad tradition of unhappy love,
And sorrows borne and ended, long ago,
When over these fair vales the savage sought
His game in the thick woods. There was a maid,
The fairest of the Indian maids, bright-eyed,
With wealth of raven tresses, a light form,
And a gay heart. About her cabin-door
The wide old woods resounded with her song
And fairy laughter all the summer day.
She loved her cousin; such a love was deemed,
By the morality of those stern tribes,
Incestuous, and she struggled hard and long
Against her love, and reasoned with her heart,
As simple Indian maiden might. In vain.
Then her eye lost its lustre, and her step
Its lightness, and the gray-haired men that passed
Her dwelling, wondered that they heard no more
The accustomed song and laugh of her, whose looks
Were like the cheerful smile of Spring, they said,
Upon the Winter of their age. She went
To weep where no eye saw, and was not found
Where all the merry girls were met to dance,
And all the hunters of the tribe were out;
Nor when they gathered from the rustling husk
The shining ear; nor when, by the river's side,
They pulled the grape and startled the wild shades
With sounds of mirth. The keen-eyed Indian dames
Would whisper to each other, as they saw
Her wasting form, and say, The girl will die. -
One day into the bosom of a friend,
A playmate of her young and innocent years,
She poured her griefs. "Thou know'st, and thou alone,"
She said, "for I have told thee, all my love,
And guilt, and sorrow. I am sick of life.
All night I weep in darkness, and the morn
Glares on me, as upon a thing accursed,
That has no business on the earth. I hate
The pastimes and the pleasant toils that once
I loved; the cheerful voices of my friends
Sound in my ear like mockings, and, at night,
In dreams, my mother, from the land of souls,
Calls me and chides me. All that look on me
Do seem to know my shame; I cannot bear
Their eyes; I cannot from my heart root out
The love that wrings it so, and I must die!" -
It was a summer morning, and they went
To this old precipice. About the cliffs,
Lay garlands, ears of maize, and shaggy skins

Additions and Corrections

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Viewing: 1-1 of 1    
royswkrHighest point

Hasn't voted

Note that the highest point of Monument Mtn is outside the reservation and doesn't have a trail

[url]http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=18&n=4679762&e=636115&size=l&datum=nad83[/url]



Posted Jul 18, 2006 10:10 pm

Viewing: 1-1 of 1    

Images

Summit cliffsDevils PulpitOverviewAtlas\' treeMonument Mountain - Hickey TrailNearing Squaw PeakSouth Ridge
Granite scramblingsummit viewSummitDevil\'s Pulpit in Winter