About Appalachian Trail - County Road
This trailhead has parking for 3 vehicles. It is not plowed in the winter, but can be accessed on foot from where the snow plow stops, 0.2 miles from the A.T. crossing. Overnight parking is not recommended at the trailhead. Northbound hikers can spot a 2nd car at Washington Mountain Road for a somewhat vigorous 4.1 mile hike. Southbound hikers can similarly spot a car at Route 20 for an occasionally challenging 5.3 mile trip.
The northbound Appalachian Trail travels on County Road for approx 200 feet before turning left into the woods. It immediately climbs steeply up Bald Top (no longer bald) through the remains of a Norway Spruce plantation. This area of planted non-native Norway Spruce was removed about 20 years ago and native forests are regenerating well in this location. For more info on Norway Spruce removal, see the trail description for Washington Mountain Road.
After crossing Bald Top, the Trail grade moderates and mostly follows the route of an old woods road until reaching October Mountain Shelter and Campsite in 1.9 miles, a primitive overnight site for A.T. backpackers. The Trail continues north, crossing West Branch Road, skirting beaver ponds, then two sections of recently removed Norway Spruce before arriving at Washington Mountain Road.
Southbound A.T. hikers cross County Road and descend shortly into the remains of the Norway Spruce plantation. Then, skirting numerous beaver ponds, and ascending along a busy stream bank, the A.T. crosses the multi-use School House Trail before briefly scrambling up a rocky hillside. Descending again, it skirts Finerty Pond, which in late June is surrounded by blooming mountain laurel bushes. Crossing another multi-use trail (Finerty Trail), the A.T. steeply climbs Walling Mountain, then travels the ridgeline before another brief climb to the remaining foundation of a communication tower on Becket Mountain. The Trail turns sharply right and descends, occasionally steeply, crossing Tyne Road, an unbridged stream and then a power line before arriving at Route 20, at 5.3 miles. Just before Route 20, a blue-blazed side trail on the right leads to the parking area.
The Appalachian Trail (or A.T.), is a 2100 mile footpath stretching from Maine to Georgia. 90 miles of the Trail are in Massachusetts, traversing the Berkshires. Local volunteers manage and maintain the footpath and the surrounding trail corridor in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the National Park Service Appalachian Trail Park (NPS-APPA). While popular with both day hikers and backpackers, the A.T. is managed as a primitive backcountry trail with limited amenities. Visitors should dress for the range of expected weather, wear sturdy shoes, and carry the Ten Essentials on their hike. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the A.T. For more on the Appalachian Trail, visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s website.