Summary: The Hopkins Memorial Forest straddles three states and offers spectacular views of the Taconic Range, Berkshires, and the nearby Green Mountains. The trail begins high on the ridge separating New York and Massachusetts and winds through serene forests of maple, birch, beech and cherry. Open meadows provide ideal break areas and views into the rich farmland of the Taconic valley to the west, and Vermont's Green Mountains to the east.
Minimal elevation gain, clear trails, and uncrowded conditions make this ideal for the whole family. As an out-and-back hike, you can turn around whenever the youngest one tires and still enjoy beautiful views. Snowshoeing in the winter is popular and experienced cross country skiers enjoy this trail as well.
You may want to couple this hike with a visit to one of the following: Grafton Lakes State Park (NY), Mt. Greylock State Park (MA), MassMoca Art Museum (North Adams, MA), or the Peace Pagoda (Grafton, MA).
Trailhead: The trailhead is located at the parking area on Route 2 at the New York / Massachusetts border (Petersburgh Pass). To reach the trail, you'll need to cross Rte 2 and climb steeply through the forest for several hundred yards. (Lat:42.72311 Lon:-73.27707)
Trail Guides for Hopkins Memorial Forest Ridge Walk:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Williams College, Hopkins Memorial Forest Manager (413) 597-4353
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jennifer Hanson, who has posted 4 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by OE on 11/15/2015
Agree with everything everyone said, however if you go when the leaves are down (after November or before May), you have amazing views for the whole trip.
Reviewed by Lee on 6/8/2010
Someone really needs to specify what the turnaround point is for the "5.5 mile" hike, because this trail keeps going quite a long way if you take it to the end. Does the 5.5 miles describe a round trip to the spur which descends the mountain to connect with the Hopkins Forest figure 8 loops? To the Snow Hole? Something else. People should know that if you star north from the Rooute 2 trailhead, and don't simply decide to turn around, you end up at the northern end of the Taconic Crest Trail, on Route 346 right at the Ny, VT border (which I believe is 7 to 9 miles from Route 2). It's a nice hike, but go for the hike, not the views. As Sully noted below, the views are minimal after the initial climb away from Route 2.
Reviewed by DLM on 6/29/2009
We did this hike on 6/29/09 with our two kids (Ages 9 & 10). The trail is VERY well marked. Pick up a trail map, watch the contours carefully for the SNOW HOLE SIGN. It is on the RED trail - which does loop back to the main Tacanic Crest trail from both ends. While a bit muddy in spots - it was GREAT! There was a bit of snow left in the snow hole which was a thrill for the kids. On the bright side - even with lot of mud - much of it was bridged by 2/6's and totally passable! Enjoy - - -have fun and be safe!
Reviewed by EDM on 3/24/2008
Snowy the whole way along the ridge, but very pleasant. It was a sunny day, but the snow was firm enough that we weren't making post-holes. The trail had been walked enough that hiking boots were sufficient. No bogs... A good day.
Reviewed by Jim 4 on 6/24/2007
Did the hike yesterday with Betty,Nina, Brad and 22 other people. It was a fun day. Weather was a little and and windy. Took some nice pictures. There was snow in the hole. A stragler missed the sign. Follow blue trail to red trail. You should be ok.
Reviewed by Adam on 6/3/2007
Very well maintained trail, minimal elevation gains between the initial climb and the snow hole. The summary provided here is confusing however; we thought "5.5 miles round trip" meant the blue trail. By the time we realized our folly, we were a good five or six miles out -- and the elevation changes increase sharply after the trail splits off for the snow hole. A nice afternoon five mile trek turned into an 11 mile nightmare; one member of our party had to be hospitalized. I would still definitely recommend the trail, but check out the snow hole instead of staying on the blue trail. That hike, round trip, is probably an ideal afternoon run for the casual hiker.
Reviewed by Paul on 10/9/2006
One more thing: Our trek from Route 2 to the Snow Hole, with about 20 mins for lunch and about 15 mins to check out the Snow Hole, took much longer than the 3 hours indicated above. Allow at least 4 hours unless you plan to keep up a very brisk pace.
Reviewed by Paul on 10/9/2006
Great views with minimal climbing. There were no maps available at the trail head, but it would be hard to get lost. Follow the blue and white trail markers for the Taconic Crest Trail. Eventually you will leave the Hopkins MF and enter land owned by the NYS DEC. Not long after that you will reach a well-marked turn off for Snow Hole, actually a short loop marked with red trail markers that will lead you back to the trail you came up on.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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