Bear Swamp Trail

HARD 5 reviews

Bear Swamp Trail is a 15.7 mile out and back trail located near Charlemont, Massachusetts that features a river. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.

DISTANCE
15.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,910 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

forest

river

views

wildlife

old growth

21 days ago

A little grown in, no swimming in the reservoir, the views were very nice. The beginning and end were the best part.

hiking
21 days ago

I'm not sure I've ever been this disappointed by a hike that's received several five-star reviews. I did this as a point-to-point hike with three friends, leaving a car at one end and hiking the 8+ miles from Monroe Bridge to Zoar. Much of the trail is severely overgrown, and a lot of that is fields of grass, meaning that we had to constantly stop to clear ticks off of ourselves before proceeding onward. The initial vista (from the Monroe Bridge side) and final vista (the cliffs overlooking Zoar) were impressive, but the entire plateau in-between was entirely unremarkable. The reservoir itself is surrounded with barbed wire fences, and is situated in a way that there's no way to see it except through a small window in the trees. There were a few raspberry and blueberry bushes along the way which helped to break the monotony of the middle stretch of trail, but I would strongly recommend hiking each end from the river upwards to the vista and back down, rather than hiking the middle section. As a side note, the Alltrails mapping of the trail and the marked route don't match. Near the reservoir, the recording follows the road, not the trail, and a bit further south, the trail isn't actually the Bear Swamp Trail but the recording follows the correct route. This would receive a better rating if only hiked from each end, but not worth the point-to-point distance at all, and definitely not worth a 16-mile round-trip hike.

9 months ago

Fantastic hike, only saw one other person. Definitely earned its hard rating it took my friend and I about 6 hrs.

hiking
10 months ago

We had a great all-day hike. No other people were seen. The steeps at either end may keep folks away. Great woods with lots of birches. Several good outlooks.

hiking
9 months ago