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Mount Washington State Forest
|Park Overview:|| |
Amazing 360 degree views, rugged hikes atop the Taconic Plateau in southwestern Massachusetts
|Trail Uses:||Hiking, Mountain biking, X-C skiing|
|Dogs:||Dogs on leash|
|Trail Miles:||30 miles|
|Park Acreage:||4169 acres|
|Buy Trail Map:||South Taconic Trails Map|
|Web Map:||DCR official regional trail map|
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
|Park Description:|| |
Mount Washington State Forest, sitting atop the Taconic Plateau in the corner where NY, CT, and NY meet, is noted for its spectacular scenery and breathtaking views. It is bounded by New York's Taconic State Park north and west, Connecticut's Mount Riga Reservation south, and the Appalachian Trail runs just to the east of it a few ridgelines away. Adjacent to the state forest is Bash Bish Falls, one of Massachusetts’ most dramatic waterfalls where cascading water tumbles through a series of gorges, and then plummets some 60 feet into a pool below.
Much of the forest was clear-cut between the late-1700s to mid-1800s, to produce charcoal fuel for local iron forges. Today a strong, healthy second-growth forest has emerged that includes hardwood trees, lush ferns, bushes, wildflowers, and mountain laurel.
|Trails Overview:|| |
The State Forest offers 30 miles of trails over rugged terrain. Use the Map Link above for a Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) official regional trail map. Note the map’s orientation and find Mount Washington State Forest in its southwestern corner
A large loop, combining four distinct trails around the State Forest’s western and southern edges with a return through its mid-section, offers the possibility of a strenuous, 12-15 mile hike. These trails – the Alander Mtn, South Taconic, Mt Frissel, and Ashley Hill -- intersect and/or join to create the loop or allowing some crisscrossing through the forest. Hikers who are less ambitious can take the Alander Mtn Trail from the ranger's station parking lot to the peak at Alander Mountain. The in/out round trip is six miles. Multi-use trails and hiking-only trails are clearly distinguished on the trail map. (See “Directions” for trailhead)
For detailed descriptions of hikes in this and other state parks in the region, click on “Find a Hike,” then scroll down the “Region” column to “Southern Taconics.” All are rated moderate to strenuous hikes.
From the George Washington Bridge, proceed north on the Henry Hudson Parkway, which becomes the Saw Mill River Parkway. Take Exit 4 and continue on the Cross County Parkway, then bear left to follow the northbound Hutchinson River Parkway. In eight miles, bear left and continue on I-684, which becomes N.Y. 22. Follow Route 22 for about 53 miles to N.Y. 344 in Copake Falls. Turn right onto Route 344 and proceed east, entering Massachusetts (where the road becomes Falls Road). In 3.3 miles, turn right onto West Street. In about one mile, continue ahead on East Street, a gravel road. When you again reach a paved road, make the next right into the headquarters of Mount Washington State Forest and continue to the parking area.
On the DCR Trail Map, this is the parking area identified on the eastern side of the State Forest where the Ranger Station icon appears (it looks like an “E” on-line because of the sideway view of the map).
|Contact Information:||Department of Conservation and Recreation |