Bidwell House The Bidwell House Inc. The Bidwell House Museum
100 Art School Rd, Monterey, MA

  • Dogs allowed
  • Family Friendly
  • Parking
  • Picnicking
  • Scenic View
  • Trailhead
Safety Tips
The Bidwell House Museum in Monterey, MA | Berkshires Outside
The Bidwell House Museum in Monterey, MA | Berkshires Outside
The Bidwell House Museum in Monterey, MA | Berkshires Outside
  • Public Land
  • Private Land
  • Bus Route
  • Trail
  • Major Trail

About The Bidwell House Museum

The Bidwell House Museum offers an extensive network of hiking trails in the forest behind the museum building. The trails are best known for their historical elements as visitors peek into 18th-century life in the Berkshires. Countless artifacts are scattered throughout the woods, including an old meeting house, multiple barns, Native American exhibits, and much more. Informational kiosks line the trails, which can turn a brisk hike into a transformative trip into history. Many of these trails were used as walking routes before the United States was even founded, connecting various locations in what was known during colonial times as "Township No. 1" in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Most trails offer relatively easy hikes that only moderately vary in elevation, making them ideal for family-friendly hiking. Trails are easy to connect into longer excursions through the 194-acre property, as visitors can explore up to 6 miles of trails through this network. The serene environment of the surrounding forest offers a stimulating experience as visitors explore the woods, and signage throughout the trails provides information about the forest's ecosystem and history. Most trails are well-maintained and easy to follow, but a few offer a more rugged experience on technical, often muddy terrain. With such a diverse natural environment and a hefty collection of historic sites around the property, this trail system is one of the most engaging hiking spots in Western Massachusetts.

Visitors can begin their journey on one of many trails originating from the Bidwell House. To the north, the Royal Hemlock Trail is a wide path that follows Old Royal Hemlock Road and connects to the northern sections of the property. To the south, the Meeting House Trail is a popular way to start the day, as it meanders to the old Meeting House, a historic property of Township No. 1 in use from 1744 until 1794. From there, hikers can head in any direction to explore the southern section of the property and its fascinating history, including the Old Post Road, a path Native Americans took west as they were pushed out of the Township by European colonization. For an extensive journey, visitors are encouraged to include The Loom Brook Trail in their hike, which runs along the western edge of the property next to Loom Brook in an idyllic natural environment.

Those looking to remain close to the museum can take advantage of the many sites surrounding the building, including horse barn exhibits, Native American exhibits, multiple gardens, and more. The Native American Interpretive Trail is a self-guided walk that ventures no more than a couple hundred yards into the forest. Wildlife viewing is accessible anywhere on the property as various birds, mammals, and reptiles roam around. Organizations have been known to host birding excursions and workshops here.

Trails are open year-round for free, with the main trails blazed blue and side trails blazed red. Trail maps are available that showcase the various landmarks throughout the property. Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed and owners pick up after them. Hunting is not permitted.

The Bidwell House Inc.

Visit Website

Manage this location?

Update Information


100 Art School Rd, Monterey, MA

Get Directions

Tell others about this place

Clubs, Retail & Rentals

Looking to meet up with others for team sports or group activities? Check out our list of clubs and leagues in the Berkshires. We also link to an array of outdoor recreation resources: retail shops for gear, rental facilities for equipment, and guides to get you where you want to go! Our list of summer camps will help you plan an overnight or day camp adventure for your young ones.