Berkshires

Monument Mountain

Great Barrington

503 acres

Richard Cheek

From the 1,642-foot summit of this popular peak—which once drew 19th-century literary giants—gaze across the splendor of the Housatonic River Valley.

Share

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

Overview

Watch bald eagles soar across the Housatonic River Valley from Monument Mountain’s 1,642-foot summit and discover why this ancient landmark has inspired countless generations.

Monument Mountain has been sacred to the Mohican people and their ancestors since time immemorial. Tribal members left stone offerings imbued with prayers on the mountain, creating the “monument” for which it’s named. The original monument was destroyed by white residents after the Mohicans were dispossessed and forced from the area, though it was later recreated near the Mohican Monument Trail.

The mountain has long inspired works of art and literature, including William Cullen Bryant’s 1815 poem, “Monument Mountain.” Authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville spent a notable afternoon on the mountain and found motivation for future works, including Moby-Dick. Today, more than 20,000 hikers ascend to its summit, Peeskawso Peak, each year.

Ideas for Your Visit

Three trails—all under three miles—offer scenic ways for you to get acquainted with the mountain’s pale quartzite geology and wondrous views out to Mount Greylock and the Catskill Mountains.

On the 1.5-mile Mohican Monument Trail, you’ll pass the remains of ancient Native American trails, stone walls of former sheep pastures, woods roads, cart paths that brought hemlock bark to tanneries, hearths of charcoal makers, horse-and-carriage pleasure roads, recreational footpaths, and roads traveled by Ford Model T’s. The 0.83-mile Hickey Trail, leaving right (north) from the parking lot, is the most direct—and strenuous—approach. The 0.62-mile Peeskawso Peak Trail is the summit connector for both the Mohican Monument and Hickey trails and offers the best views. Look up to catch hawks and the occasional bald eagle soaring overhead.

Admission & Hours

Hours
Open from sunrise to sunset.

Admission
Members: FREE. Nonmembers: $6 parking fee.

Fees and Permits
Seasonal hunting is permitted subject to all state and town laws. Learn more about hunting on Trustees reservations.

Directions & Contact Info

Route 7
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Telephone: 413.298.3239
E-mail: westregion@thetrustees.org

Get directions on Google Maps

From Points East: Mass Turnpike (I-90), Exit 10 to Rt. 20 East. Take 1st right at Rt. 102/Pleasant Street. After approx. 4.6 mi, turn left onto Rt. 7 South and follow for 3 mi.

From Points West: I-90 to Exit B3, NY Rt. 22 South. Take 1st left onto Rt. 102 East. After approx. 8 mi., turn right onto Rt. 7 South and follow for 3 mi. Entrance and parking (56 cars) on right.

From Great Barrington Center: Take Rt. 7 North and follow for 4 mi. to entrance on left.

 

Facilities & Accessibility

Picnic tables

Property Map

Free trail map distributed from bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out.

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

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Some trails are steep and conditions may vary depending on the weather and season. Take caution on summit ledges, especially in winter.
  • Please stay on marked trails to prevent soil erosion.
  • A basic level of fitness is required to hike to Squaw Peak.
  • Rock climbing is prohibited.
  • Fires are prohibited.
  • Seasonal hunting is permitted subject to all state and town laws. Learn more about hunting on Trustees reservations.
  • 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.
Before Setting Out
More to Explore
Upcoming Events

A Powerful Muse

For almost two centuries, Monument Mountain has been a source of inspiration to poets, novelists, and painters. During William Cullen Bryant’s sojourn in Great Barrington (1815–1825), he penned Monument Mountain, a lyrical poem that tells the story of a Mohican maiden whose forbidden love for her cousin led her to leap to her death from the mountain’s cliffs. In the poem, Mohicans created a rock cairn on the spot where she lay buried, giving the mountain its name – Mountain of the Monument.

Learn More
The View From Here
See What People Say

We were visiting the Berkshires area for the first time and I came across Monument Mountain as an option for a nice hike. We were not disappointed. We took the gentler ascent from the car park, turning off at the Peeskawso Peak trail and then came down via the steeper Hickey Trail. The peak trail has some steeper rocky parts along the way but nothing too challenging. The views from the top were lovely.

GabbaiNo1, TripAdvisor

Discover More Places

Join the Trustees

Enjoy 120 sites featuring inspired trails, historic homes, beautiful gardens, farms, summer camps and more.
Become a Member

Lend a Hand

Join a community passionate about a sustainable future and engaged in diverse projects across the state.
Volunteer

Support Our Work

We rely on your generous support to protect the irreplaceable landscapes and landmarks of Massachusetts.
Donate