Berkshires

Becket Historic Quarry & Forest

Becket

280 acres

Photo by David Edgecomb

The Berkshires’ natural splendor and industrial heritage converge here, where hundreds of acres of woodlands veil the vestiges of an historic granite quarry.

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Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions & Contact Info
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories

Overview

Beginning in the 1860s, the Chester-Hudson Granite Quarry diligently extracted and transported Chester Blue granite, a prized, polished material suited for gravestones—the quarry’s origins aligned with the Civil War—and other monuments. But by the late 1940s the operation became insolvent: trucks, winches, railroad tracks, and other pieces of heavy equipment were abandoned across the property, as though quarry workers simply walked off the job and never returned.

In the late 1990s, after a proposal to reopen the operation to service Boston’s Big Dig, the Becket Land Trust stepped in to purchase the property and protect it from development. Today, the quarry’s rusted industrial remnants are a counterpoint to the nature reclaiming the landscape. Along hiking and cross-country skiing trails—some of which trace the quarry’s original transport routes—visitors can experience serene natural vistas, craggy ascents, vernal pools, and wildlife, including protected New England cottontail habitat. Make your way toward the submerged quarry pit and discover cliffs rising 75 feet above inky waters.

Ideas for Your Visit

Seven miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails wind through the property, some of which trace the quarry’s original transport routes. Trek around the old quarry site, then take side excursions on the smaller routes through the conservation areas. At the highest elevations, the vistas stretch out to the Pioneer Valley and Mount Greylock.

Towering 55 feet over the quarry pit, a guy derrick—a restored crane formerly used for hoisting blocks of granite—is the property’s most stunning piece of industrial scenery. Follow the quarry trails branching off of the access road to take a peek; along the way you’ll glimpse crumbling collections of thousand pieces of jagged granite called grout piles.

Established by the Becket Land Trust, 20 acres of oak regeneration forest and 40 acres of New England cottontail management area are spread across the property.

Please note: Cliff diving and swimming in the quarry pit is prohibited. There are many hazards lying beneath the surface—old equipment, downed trees—and there is zero visibility in the water.

Admission & Hours

Open year-round, sunrise to sunset.

FREE for Members. $10 parking for nonmembers.

Parking along the roads abutting the property is not permitted and cars parked on the roads will be ticketed and towed by the Becket Police Department.

Directions & Contact Info

Quarry Road
Becket, MA 01223

Get directions on Google Maps

From points east: Follow I-90W to Westfield. Take exit 41 to US-20 W, MA-23W and N Blandford Rd to Quarry Rd in Becket.

Property Map

A detailed trail map is posted at the trailhead. We recommend that you take a photo of the map on your phone so you can refer to it during your visit, or download a trail map before you head out.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Cliff diving and swimming in the quarry pit is prohibited. There are many hazards lying beneath the surface—old equipment, downed trees—and there is zero visibility in the water.
  • Please stay on marked trails.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Leave no trace. Please carry out all trash.
  • Alcohol, loud music, fires, camping, and littering are prohibited.
  • Metal detecting, tampering with or removal of historic artifacts such as quarry equipment or debris, and digging for buried relics are strictly prohibited.
  • Seasonal hunting is permitted at this property subject to all state and town laws. Please read our hunting policy.
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: We ask that photographers or their clients become Supporting Level Members before conducting portrait sessions at this property.  Click here for more information, and to request permission for any portrait sessions. The Trustees of Reservations reserves the right, and may give permission to its designated photographers and videographers, or to outside media, to photograph or video visitors and program participants at all its facilities and properties.
  • Parking along the roads abutting the property is not permitted and cars parked on the roads will be ticketed and towed by the Becket Police Department.
Before Setting Out
Upcoming Events

Becket Quarry History

From its beginnings in the 1860s, The Chester-Hudson Granite Quarry earned a reputation for extracting Chester blue granite, a high-quality stone primarily used to construct tombstones and other monuments—mementos in high demand in the years following the Civil War. But the quarry eventually fell on hard times, struggling financially before ultimately becoming insolvent in the 1940s. About half a century later, local residents founded the Becket Land Trust to spread ecological awareness in the area. (Photo credit: Christopher M. O’Connor)

Learn more
The View From Here
See What People Say

"The quarry is one of my top 5 hiking spots because there are alot of trails, all blazed well with interesting features AND theres a variety of trails in the quarry as well. I discover something new everytime I go."

Elizabeth M, Trip Advisor

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