Friday, December 31, 2010

Savoy Mountain State Forest Snowshoeing

What an unbelievable day! The weather today was low 40's, sunny and clear- just a beautiful day all around. The North Adams, MA area got about 22" of snow earlier this week, and with all the snow and the great weather, we decided to take advantage and hit Savoy Mountain State Forest for some snowshoeing.

This was my first of what I hope to be many snowshoeing trips.  While I assumed snowshoeing would be far more strenuous then hiking, I've gotta say it was even more strenuous than I had thought. We started at the parking area that leads to Old Florida Rd. and the Busby Trail. We took the Busby Trail up to the loop trail called Spruce Hill. The Spruce Hill loop takes you to the top of Spruce Hill which is 2566'. The hike up was good with some snow drifts approaching 3 feet. Once we reached the top, we cooked up a few cans of soup, made some hot chocolate, and snapped a few pictures.

Going down was a bit more difficult as all the rocks and ledges leading down the mountain were covered in snow. We took a few harmless tumbles into some fresh powder, but we weren't any worse for the wear. Once we got onto the trail we had taken up, it was smooth sailing back to the truck. We traveled 3 miles in about 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Here is a little history on the park from the MA State Parks website and here is a link to the Savoy Mountain State Forest page.

"Savoy Mountain State Forest is located atop the Hoosac Mountain Range in northwestern Massachusetts. The Hoosac Range is an extension of the Green Mountains of Vermont, and is the first mountain barrier encountered rising west of the Connecticut River Valley. "Hoosac" is an Algonquin word meaning, place of stones. Settlement of these remote towns of Florida and Savoy by farmers began in the early 19th century. The construction of the Hoosac Tunnel (1851-75) for railroad transportation created a momentary population boom. After its completion the tunnel workers left. Many moved down in the valley to Adams or North Adams to work in the woolen mills, or headed west to join in the great land rush for better farmland. Savoy Mountain State Forest was created in 1918 with the purchase of 1,000 acres of this abandoned farmland. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reforested much of this area with Norway and Blue Spruce, and built new concrete dams at Bog, Burnett and Tannery Pond to replace older dams. Today, apple trees interspersed throughout the campground and stonewalls are some reminders of the once vibrant farming history."

No comments:

Post a Comment