hiking

forest

dogs on leash

views

wildlife

Beartown State Forest has two distinctly different worlds between the summer and winter. During the warm months the pristine 35-acre Benedict Pond attracts swimmers, boaters and fishermen. An extensive network of trails on over 12,000 acres offers visitors a chance to glimpse deer, bear, bobcat, fisher and other wildlife, including the park's namesake, the Black Bear. Brooks, beaver ponds, rich deciduous forest, flowering shrubs and wildflowers and fall foliage are plentiful. The Appalachian Trail passes near Benedict Pond and offers spectacular wooded views. The other half of the year the forest becomes a winter wonderland, where visitors on cross-country skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles can explore a snow-covered wilderness. The 1.5 mile Benedict Pond Loop Trail is a must in any season. Year-round camping is also available.

hiking
1 month ago

A unique hike, Ice Glen is essentially a boulder field, lots of interesting topography.

Short but sweet, steep at places but that depends on if you're running or not. If you're a runner (or even if not) definitely do Ice Glen in the same trip- very cool!

Great view from the tower.

6 months ago

Very rocky and beautiful

8 months ago

Beautiful! great hike up to the tower. Great bridge over the little river.
Just lovely. Thanks to all who maintain the trail!

walking
8 months ago

I took my 4 and 6 year old to Laura's Tower and the Ice Glen and they HAD A BLAST! It was definitely at the upper level of their ability (the vertical assent to the tower and the scramble to the glen took a lot out of them) but they said it was the best hike of their time in the Berkshires.

Magical trail with nice light rock scramble towards the end. Short, and ends a bit abruptly in someone's backyard.

Lovely walking, although parts of the trail aren't kept up well, but the view from the "look out point" is excellent. About two miles near the end of the trail is on a road, which was a nice respite from the brush and bugs.

9 months ago

This is a beautiful rather magical trail through the woods and rock formations.

Map is incorrect- you cannot go in a loop- runs into private property off Ice Glen Rd

hiking
10 months ago

I took my grandson here today. We both loved it. We enjoyed the rock scrambles, the icy air coming from the caves on this 90 degree day, and all the natural treasures we found along the way including coral mushrooms, a tree frog, and an elderberry borer beetle while other hikers were geocaching.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful! Keep an eye out for the blue spots for markers. Wonderful scramble. Moderate because of all the rocks but not too hard just lots of scrambling. Fun with three teens and a 40-ish person :)

Bonus - tons of extra frogs just around the railroad tracks for fun. :)

hiking
10 months ago

Tough hike up but only because of the incline. Doable and lots of families. Worth the uphill track. Plan to come back with family. Dog friendly. Path up easy to follow and easily identified. Path back down ended up on the wrong path by following worn path but all ended at the right place! Just be careful on the way down to stay on the trail.

Worth it and family friendly!!!

park on the right, opposite the no tresspassing sign and walk past the big gate...keep your eyes peeled on the left for an unmarked path leading up...actually the entire first part of the trail is absent any legitimate markings...honestly it gets tricky and i had to use my gps once or twice....lots of fresh bear sign....moderate rating well earned for some of the elevation change and a couple small steep spots...my 60 year old dad with a nad hip did it although for him he said it was perfect and he wouldnt want much more difficulty....trail was EMPTY although there were people at the firetower at the top who came from a different trail....the view from the tower is nice..not amazing but nice

hiking
10 months ago

Ice Glen is a good hike for sure footed kids. Not a good hike if you're carrying kids. This is one of the only hikes our kids will gladly accompany us on.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail recently has re-routed for some reason right by the tower. Watch your route coming back as I've found it very easy to get off the trail. There are lots of paths that people have worn into this area so finding "the trail" can be a challenge.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Love the Ice Glen trail. Very different than most hikes.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The tower hike is nice but the Ice Glen trail is wonderful. It looks prehistoric!

hiking
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Love the challenge walking with rocks with my true friend Wendy had a blast and did the tower trail too

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

I like the Ice Glen trail, but it's a little tough on our dog. We really like Laura's Tower which is accessible from the same parking lot. Today we kept going out past the tower, follow the yellow blazes, after you pass through a series of ravines you settle into a nice flat trail that takes you out to Bear Town State park, we walked out and back in about 2.5 hours. Today's weather was cool and you should get an early start, when it's hot/muggy the delta wings and mosquitos can be annoying.

following this app, you only get 1 really nice view (the Ledges on the A.T. section), after that, it's pretty much a typical trail. because this trail is made up of a mix of trails in the area, there are a lot of shared access (dirt bikes, atv's) power line "trails" that are not groomed well, and some roads. I enjoyed myself, but can't say that this particular route was inspiring. I would, however, use this route for trail run training, there are a good amount of ups and downs, but it's mostly level. few roots and rocks, but not too much to suffer!

Hiked from parking lot, around the lake and up to the Lookout Point. Lovely view of Western Berkshires all the way to the Catskills. FYI, trail was quite slippery with fallen leaves.

The AT through here is not well marked heading South after crossing the Bear Mountain Road. The blazes are faded and few. There isn't a phone signal until near the top of the mountain. Beautiful land and surroundings. Very, very wooded.

Awesome hike on the ridges and summits much more challenging than you would believe.

hiking
Friday, June 12, 2015

This is a family favorite. Lots of fun scrambling but fairly short. Gorgeous, too.

on Ice Glen Trail

hiking
Friday, May 08, 2015

I did the hike up to Laura's tower in the spring last year. I would totally come back to this one in the fall. Nice view of Kripalu/Lenox and Stockbridge area. Will have to go back to the Ice Glen b/c didn't actually go the glen but I hear it's not too far off from the trail to Laura's (maybe 5-10 min walk?)

hiking
Sunday, October 12, 2014

If you're hiking this, not skiing/snowshoeing, it a VERY easy hike. The most difficult aspect is probably the loose rocks that the dirt bikes and quads kick up. Yes, dirt bikes and quads are allowed in the summertime, although the few we ran into were all going pretty slow. There is one lookout point where you have a nice view, the rest is just walking through the woods. We also did the turkey trail.. Which didn't have any views or challenging parts either.

hiking
Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Beartown was great. We only took a short hike on the Lookout Trail. It was a cool vista at the end. I posted a video of my stay there the hike is included. We stayed at site 8.

hiking
Monday, June 30, 2014

This is, actually, three trails maintained by the Laurel Hill Association in Stockbridge. When you park, you must cross the Housatonic River on a lovely suspension bridge with flower boxes.

The first trail I did, the Laura's Tower trail, is around a mile, uphill the whole way to the tower. It is not difficult except for the constant uphill climb. The tower has 35 steps and a nice view of the Berkshires.

Next I did the riverside trail, which is more of a walk with several benches along the way. It is well maintained and frequently used, and follows the Housatonic. There is a small loop at the far end, and then you double back. I didn't have phone service at this end of the trail. I took my 88-year-old grandmother on this trail, and she loved it. It is flat and accessible for almost anyone. It is a little over a mile out and back. There is a spot by one of the benches where you can look out over the river, or even scramble down to it, and there is a bench right near the trailhead that overlooks the river, for those who don't want to do the walking.

The third trail is the Ice Glen. This trail starts with a little uphill hiking, as it coincides with the beginning of the Laura's Tower Trail, but as soon as you turn away from the LTT, it's pretty level until you get to the glen. There is a shortcut at the beginning, if you veer right, which is steeper than the trail that coincides with the LTT trail, but meets up with the Ice Glen trail quickly. Look for the yellow diamonds attached to trees; they are marked with the Laurel Hill Association logo. The glen is characterized by boulders and rocks on which you have to climb, but it's pretty manageable. When you get into a few of the areas where you're in between a lot of big rocks, the temperature drops noticeably, which was a welcome relief. The trail isn't marked well in this area, but if you look around, you can see staircases made from the rocks, which are always the way to go. When you get to the bench with the heart, a house, and a road with more houses, it's time to turn back. I stopped here to take a picture, and a dragonfly landed on my phone. Partway back, there is a misdirection in red spray paint. It says PATH with an arrow to the right. Trusting this advice would make you fall several feet; go left instead. I liked that this hike was more about climbing around on rocks and not just a constant ascent. When I say climbing on rocks, I didn't have any equipment at all, and none was needed. There was also a little bridge at one point, and many small caves that I had no interest in disturbing, since I was hiking alone. I passed a family with a bunch of adults, a dog, and two kids- maybe 9 and 11- who were doing the Ice Glen trail and then the LTT, who seemed to be having no problems.

Bring some sort of protection against bugs, or plan to swat, shoo, slap, and swear the whole time.

walking
Sunday, November 10, 2013

This is a very easy walk. The trail is well maintained and is wheelchair accessible for the most part along the river.

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