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October Mountain State Forest
Hiking, Biking, Paddling & More

August 22nd, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

October Mountain State ForestGet out into the great outdoors of the Berkshires with a visit to October Mountain State Forest. Hiking, biking, boating, picnicking, gorgeous scenery, and more. October Mountain has it all!

October Mountain State Forest is Massachusetts largest state forest. Its 16,500 acres encompass a portion of the Hoosac Range on the western edge of the central Berkshires. The forest includes an uplands area with several reservoirs.

The “October Mountain” name comes from the forest’s highest point; a ridge rising majestically up out of the Housatonic River Valley. Herman Melville treasured the view of the ridge from his home in Pittsfield, particularly in autumn. The name “October Mountain” is attributed to him.

Best of all, October Mountain is right here in Lee. Just a ten-minute drive from your room at our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.

Hiking Biking, Boating, and More

October Mountain State Forest hikingThe forest’s 16,500 acres of beautiful Berkshires wilderness are crisscrossed by more than 20 different trails, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

The majority of the forest’s trails are of intermediate level, suitable for most hikers, but a few are more difficult. Unfortunately, one of the best trails is also one of the more difficult ones: The Gorge Trail.

The Gorge Trail is steep but takes you to Schermerhorn Gorge. Schermerhorn Gorge is an intriguing natural feature: a boulder strewn forest with a babbling brook that tumbles over numerous cascades.

October Mountain State Forest brookThe varied terrain of the forest supports a diverse array of plants and wildlife. Birders, nature photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike will swoon at the seemingly endless natural beauty.

Camping, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking are all popular activities. Come winter, October Mountain is also a popular cross-country skiing and snowshoeing destination.

October Mountain State Forest

317 Woodland Road, Lee, MA 01238

Open daily, from sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Facilities include a boat ramp, campfire grills, picnic areas, restrooms, and showers.

Visit www.mass.gov to learn more.

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