Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shaker Mountain, Hancock

Last week we hiked the trails on Shaker Mountain in Hancock, MA. Part of the mountain is owned by Hancock Shaker Village and part is in the Pittsfield State Forest. We started at the pull-off on Rte 20 opposite Shaker Village. While there is a hefty charge for visiting the Village, well worth it by-the-way, there is no charge for walking the trails. As we drove up, two men were taking off on their bicycles up the hill.

The moderate trail passes several Shaker foundation sites of the North Family and evidence of Shaker waterworks. Also, two Shaker holy sites are on the mountain. It does not have much in the way of views, but has the historic sites and beautifully-crafted stone walls. It was a nice walk of about 6 miles.

The first holy site is overgrown with saplings.
A picket fence marks the four corners.
This stone work may have been the foundation for a shelter building at the holy site.

Originally, this outstanding example of 19th century Shaker stonework
completely enclosed the holy site—several acres.
The forest was bright & sunny as we descended the south-facing mountain.

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