Straddling the Massachusetts-Vermont border, this inviting mix of forest, field, wetland, and wildflower meadow draws both novice hikers and serious naturalists.
Rising in elevation from 690 feet at the Williamstown parking lot to more than 1,100 feet, Mountain Meadow Preserve provides multiple natural habitats and rich ecology: it’s home to bears, coyotes, bobcats, fox, and deer as well as wetland amphibians and numerous small mammals and reptiles. Meanwhile, the meadow’s mix of flowers and grasses, including aster, little bluestem, and fringed gentian, attracts a variety of butterflies. From the meadow, peek through a forested ridge and enjoy mountain vistas across 180 acres.
Hike the four miles of trails and gather your own special memories, like watching a butterfly light on a wildflower, or catching the cry of a red-tailed hawk as it soars overhead. From the broad meadow a few hundred yards beyond the parking lot, enjoy a view of the Hoosac Valley that includes both Williamstown church spires and Mount Greylock. Climb a half-mile loop trail to a hilltop, where you can also continue your hike into the Pownal, Vermont side of the reservation. And if you prefer your vistas without the uphill walk, enter the reservation from the Pownal parking lot, meander along a network of flat trails to a woods road leading to a scenic overlook at the ruins of Mausert’s Camp, a circa-1970s rustic family getaway.
FREE to all.
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset.
Mason Street, Williamstown, MA 01267
Benedict Road, Pownal, VT 05261
Williamstown, MA parking area: From the intersection of Rts. 2 and 7 in Williamstown, take Rt. 7 north for 1.7 mi. Bear right onto Mason St. (steep dirt road uphill) and follow to entrance and parking (10 cars).
Pownal, VT parking area: From the intersection of Rts. 2 and 7 in Williamstown, follow Rt. 7 north 1.7 mi., turn right onto Sand Spring Rd., then bear right onto Bridges Rd. Follow for 0.3 mi., turn left onto White Oaks Rd., and follow for 1.1 mi. when road becomes dirt. Continue for 0.4 mi., bear left at fork onto Benedict Rd., and continue 0.1 mi. to entrance and parking (8 cars) on left.
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.
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It is assumed that Native Americans, while making use of hot springs in the area, were at one time dependent on what is now Mountain Meadow Preserve for hunting, migration, and living space. Due in part to its remote, mountainous location and regional violence related to the French and Indian War (1754–63) this corner of the state was not settled by colonists until relatively late: the mid- to latter part of the 1700s.
This preserve provides a wonderful walk in the woods with very little elevation change. Your best views are had at the meadow at the beginning of the trail. The rest of the hike is a stroll through the woods to enjoy the nature all around you. It's definitely a nice place to just get outside and spend a peaceful few hours.
– mjvinson, Trip Advisor
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