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The Boulders

Birding in Massachusetts

The Boulders
Berkshire Natural Resources Council
Dalton, Massachusetts 01226
The Boulders webpage
The Boulders map

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Berkshire County

The Boulders (BNRC)
Coordinates: 42.4812554, -73.1790592
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About The Boulders
Located close to Berkshire County’s population center, the 645 acres of The Boulders provide more than six miles of trails plus the dramatic boulders that give the area its name and offer a vista to the west. The trails lend themselves to hiking, biking, hunting, jogging, dog walking, and cross-country skiing.

This land, and all of the present-day Berkshires, are the ancestral homeland of the Mohican people who were forcefully displaced to Wisconsin by European colonization. These lands continue to be of great significance to the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation today

This property was acquired by the Crane family at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1994, the family officially opened the property to the public. It became permanently protected in 2004 when Mass Wildlife bought a conservation restriction. In 2015 Crane and Company donated The Boulders property to the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, ensuring that this popular destination – most of which is within the city limits of Pittsfield – would be conserved and open to the public.

The land-use history of this property has resulted in diverse forests including large and old trees. This makes for a memorable experience no matter which route you take.

The Boulders’ weathered chunks of gray rock, some stacked like steps, are a handy rest stop after a moderate climb. The bedrock of this property is primarily pelitic rock; a metamorphosed fine-grained sedimentary rock. The large outcrops on the boulders ridge show part of a concentric arcing called a “lunate fracture.” These form as an interaction between ice, pressure, and a very hard rock like the quartzite found here.

The trails leading to them wind through woods that include such hardwoods as oak, maple, beech, ash and birch; softwoods include white pine and hemlock. Along the Blue Trail are enough mature, straight-trunked black cherry trees to provide lifetimes’ supplies for furniture makers. Deer and barred owls are among many animal species to be found here; red trillium and pink lady-slippers show up in spring among many other ephemeral wildflowers.

Healthy Heart Loop
This easy loop winds you through hemlock forest with no elevation changes.
Green trail
Explore wetlands, large trees and a fern-filled forest floor on this hike with little elevation changes.
Red trail
Walk through diverse forests, stopping mid-way at the pond, on this trail with moderate elevation changes.
Blue trail
Follow an old wood road to the Boulders summit.
From The Boulders webpage