The Trustees of Reservations
Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230
Monument Mountain Reservation webpage
Monument Mountain Reservation map
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For almost two centuries, Monument Mountain has been a source of inspiration to poets, novelists, and painters. On August 5, 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville enjoyed a well-chronicled picnic hike up Monument Mountain. It was their first meeting, and, when a thunderstorm forced them to seek refuge in a cave, their lengthy and vigorous discussion inspired powerful ideas for Melville’s new book, Moby-Dick, which he dedicated to Hawthorne. Today, more than 20,000 hikers explore these pale boulders, cliffs, and ledges every year.
Three trails—all under three miles—offer scenic ways for you to get acquainted with the mountain’s pale quartzite geology and wondrous views out to Mount Greylock and the Catskill Mountains.
On the 1.5-mile Mohican Monument Trail, you’ll pass the remains of ancient Native American trails, stone walls of former sheep pastures, woods roads, cart paths that brought hemlock bark to tanneries, hearths of charcoal makers, horse-and-carriage pleasure roads, recreational footpaths, and roads traveled by Ford Model T’s. The 0.83-mile Hickey Trail, leaving right (north) from the parking lot, is the most direct—and strenuous—approach. The 0.62-mile Peeskawso Peak Trail is the summit connector for both the Mohican Monument and Hickey trails and offers the best views. Look up to catch hawks and the occasional bald eagle soaring overhead.