The bridges of Western Massachusetts are not just the ones you see on the roadways. But, don’t let the name fool you. The Natural Bridge State Park has so much more to offer.
Before you reach the natural bridge, a brook greets you at the entrance.
Formed through series of continental collisions, erosion and the meltwaters caused by the Ice Age, the natural marble bridge is the only one of its kind in North America.
Deep crevices and chasms were carved through the years of erosion and warming and cooling.
The only marble bridge in North America, the natural bridge in North Adams is located just off the The Mohawk Trail.
Adding to the beauty of the natural bridge, the park has a waterfall.
The Natural Bridge State Park also has impressive views of the bridge and the park it overlooks.
There are many flowers, trees, rocks, bridges (a bridge on a bridge of all things) and even David’s Bench that give the Natural Bridge State Park a special charm.
During our travels, we met Sasha.
Just as you think you’ve seen all the Natural Bridge State Park has to offer there is a small park area atop the walking bridge. Statues and other structures made from the materials mined from the one time quarry rest along the top of the lofty bridge. It capped off a perfect visit.
If you want to feel on top of the world, or at least on top of Massachusetts, there’s no place like Mount Greylock.
Clocking in at 3,491 feet and about an hour and a half west of Springfield, MA, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. With its miles of hiking trails and scenic views, Mount Greylock is the perfect destination for hikers and nature lovers. There is also a paved road to the summit with places to pull over to view the scenic beauty.
There are also some cute and pretty attractions off the main trails.
Even the views and flowers at the Visitor Center were captivating.
Along the trails
But, the pinnacle of Mount Greylock is the tower that sits atop the summit. First built as a tribute to the veterans of the first World War, the tower now serves as a memorial to all service members who have served the country. When it is lit each night, the tower is said to be able to be seen from 70 miles. The granite from which the tower was came from my hown city, Quincy (pronounced kwin-zee), Massachusetts.
Mount Greylock State Reservation is a dog friendly park. During my visit there were many dogs out enjoying the views.
Izzy was patiently waiting for his mom outside the visitor’s center.
Peanut was getting ready for his big hike.
Max was tired from hiking the trails at Greylock.
This fella was enjoying some rays.
Most of the wildlife at Mount Greylock was hidden during the day. But, I did see this grasshopper.
Mount Greylock is also a popular spot for paragliders. In fact, several paragliders took off from Mount Greylock during the day.
Mount Greylock is also a stop on the Appalachian Trail. It’s a long way to Georgia. Maybe I’ll try it sometime.
After photographing a variety of mountainous, rocky state parks, I thought it was time to mix it up and visit a rocky, hilly waterfall. Initially, we planned on visiting CM Gardner State Park. But, the helpful park rangers at CM Gardner suggested something more picturesque, Chester-Blandford State Forest.
Since it encompasses such a large area (over 2,700 acres), Chester-Blandford has several entrances. The first part of the park we arrived at, Boulder Park, is a rather small area with a pond and a few ill defined trails. But, right from the rocky steps and mossy trails at the entrance it has a unique charm.
The trails also have some unique walkways and structures.
The highlight of the park may be the deep opening off the main trail.
Boulder Rock also has some eye catching plants and wild life.
The pond near the end of the main trail was a nice surprise.
Boulder Rock also had its share of wildlife such as this salamander and mouse.
Alas, our trip to Boulder Rock was over. But, about a mile down the road another entrance beckoned us, the main entrance to the Sanderson Brooks Falls trail of Chester-Blandford.
Pitcuresque views are scattered along the Brooks Falls trail.
Due to the lack of rain recently, the rapids weren’t very, well, rapid. But, the relatively still water and rocky brook provided some good shots.
Sanderson Brook Falls also had a fair share of wildlife such as caterpillars,
and dogs, like Loona.
After a roughly half an hour trek along some rocky terrain, a number of bridges and some steep inclines, I made it to the falls.
The brooks and falls are sure to be more active during the stormy seasons. But, it is still impressive and worth the trip.
To get the full effect of the falls, click on the short video below.
Is there anywhere in the New England area you would like me to visit?
Even though it’s only August, today was the perfect day for a trip to Mount October.
Roughly, a 45 minute drive west of Springfield, MA, Mount October is located in the majestic Berkshires. The wild flowers and plant life, which are a staple of the Berkshires, were in full bloom.
The wildlife at Mount October was also abundant.
There were salamanders
Olive posed during her walk with her dad
Emily stuck her head out for some fresh air.
While it serves as a campground, the hiking trails are perhaps the most notable part of the state forest. But, the most challenging part of Mount October was the terrain of these hiking trails. Dew and rain made for marshy, washed out paths which made it even more difficult when you had to cross rocky areas. Some parts of the paths were also fairly steep.
Interestingly, I visited Woods Pond earlier this year which is a section of Mount October. The blog for which can be found here. Even though I had already taken photos of Woods Pond previously, I took a few more during my visit at Mount October.
Mount October is the largest state park in Massachusetts. And, despite spending several hours there, we were only able to cover a fraction of the area. Perhaps I’ll come back in the fall.