Photos of Pitcher Brook to Laurel Lane Circuit

DISTANCE
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
406 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

forest

hiking
2 months ago

We parked in the small lot (Junction 1, A: ENTRANCE LOT & KIOSK) just off S Quarter Road. We walked from the parking lot up to the center via the ENTRANCE ROAD to the bathrooms (just past U: FARM HOUSE).
From there we began our hike at Junction 5 LAUREL LANE (Orange). Along the way we saw I: ASHLEY CELLAR HOLE. Just Junction 28 with the CHARCOAL KILN TRAIL our trail became the PITCHER BROOK TRAIL (Red), which featured the K: PENDLETON-SNOW CELLAR HOLE soon after.

Along the PITCHER BROOK TRAIL we saw the L: ICE POND, M: BIG PITCHER FALLS, and N: LITTLE PITCHER FALLS. From the PITCHER BROOK TRAIL we made a left at junction 5 onto the BORDER TRAIL, which took us back to our parking lot.

We made out trip during the first weekend in October, and were surprised to find the ground soggy and some of trail impassible due to puddles. There are "dry paths" along some of these areas, including the beginning of LAUREL LANE, so look out for them, because they are not on the map.

Give yourself ample time to enjoy the brooks and waterfalls, because there are many lovely spots, each one more enticing than the last. I dipped my feet into the water around the Ice Pond, and was surprised but not disappointed to realize farther along the trail that there were even more crystal-clear pools to wade in by Big and Little Pitcher Falls.

We didn't see much wildlife, but the array of fungi was extraordinary. I don't think I've ever seen such variety of colorful, healthy, and probably toxic mushrooms and other strange growing things. There was one sprouting out of a log that looked like a jellyfish, colorless and translucent.

In summary: This is a well-marked, well maintained set of trails. It is also very beautiful, even compared to the other beautiful trails in Western Massachusetts. We are travelling with one bad set of knees, and the trail was gradual enough in all places that we didn't have trouble with any of the elevation.