Climb through a restored forest boasting a rich variety of hardwood species as well as stone walls and cellar holes that reveal the hill's agricultural past.
Petticoat Hill is one in a grouping of three hills that rise more than 1,000 feet above South Williamsburg. According to legend, the reservation got its name because the daughters of a family who farmed the hill generations ago hung their washed petticoats to dry outside—the garments could be seen for miles. Today, a 100-year-old forest crisscrossed by old stone walls covers a hillside dotted with cellar holes and foundations of early farmsteads. Where the valley meets the highlands, the reservation has a beautiful transition forest with specimen trees from both northern and southern climates. Some trees are more than 110 feet high, among the tallest in the region.
Along a mile and a half of occasionally strenuous trails, you’ll be captivated by the sheer diversity of specimen trees, including hemlock and white pine, red and black oak, yellow and black birch, shagbark hickory, and sugar and red maple. Petticoat Hill Summit is owned by the Williamsburg Water District; The Trustees owns Scott Hill Summit on its slope. Locke’s Loop, a trail constructed by the Williamsburg Woodland Trails Committee, begins at the Scott Hill Summit.
FREE to all.
Please note that the roadside parking area is not plowed in the winter.
Petticoat Hill Road
Williamsburg, MA 01096
Get driving directions on Google Maps.
From Pittsfield: Follow Rt. 9 East approx. 28 mi. into Williamsburg Center. Turn right onto Petticoat Hill Rd. and follow for 0.2 mi. to entrance and parking on left.
From Northampton: Follow Rt. 9 West approx. 4 mi. into Williamsburg Center. Turn left onto Petticoat Hill Rd. and follow for 0.2 mi. to entrance and parking (2 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 visit.
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In Massachusetts, people and the land are of each other, inextricably woven together to form the tapestry of our long history together.
The hillsides were cleared and farmed for generations, before forest reclaimed the landscape. The reservation takes its name from the story of a family with seven daughters that settled near the top of the hill. Each daughter wore five petticoats, and, on Monday wash days, people from miles around could see thirty-five petticoats billowing in the breeze as they dried on a clothesline.
Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a gift of Mrs. Edward W. Nash in 1906 in memory of her husband. Additional land given in 1924.
If you are a birder, this Trustees site is an early morning paradise, especially in Springtime!
– MargotLane, Trip Advisor
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