Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Eyrie Ruins Hiking

I wanted to get out locally and do a quick hike and test out a GPS i’m reviewing. So I thought it was a good idea to hike up to the Eyrie Ruins in the Mt. Tom Reservation. A little backstory on this piece of Western Mass history was a hotel that was built on the summit of Mt. Nonotuck in 1861. For the next 35 years this was a very popular spot for tourists.

Business started to dwindle when the new summit house on Mt. Tom was built. The only thing keeping the Eyrie house in business were annual guests and picnics. On April 13, 1901 the hotel, pavilion, and stable burned to the ground. The cause of the fire was an unwatched cremation of a few dead horses.

The day was beautiful and calm. We started our hike in the late morning and took the Teabag Trail that leads to the M+M trail. From the M+M trail we stopped at Dry Knoll (Elev 835’) which overlooked the Oxbow Marina.

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The M+M trail dumped us out to a paved road, that continued up until we got to a parking area. We followed the sign and within short distance we saw the ruins.

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Whenever you come across ruins you often think to yourself how well the structure was put together. This was over 100 years old and parts were still in flawless condition. Everything was smooth and uniformed. You might think it burned down last week, except for all the idiots who ruined it with graffiti. Do I really need to know that “Tommy” was here in ’95? I think not.

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After we got our fill of the ruins we started to head back down the road toward the lookout tower on Goat Peak (Elev 822’). Goat Peak is a popular Hawk watching spot in the area. Many people come to the lookout tower or sit on the benches and watch the hawks migrate during the fall. From the lookout tower you get a pretty decent view of the surrounding area as well.

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We took the paved road down back to the parking lot. In total we traveled 6.33 miles. On the way down we saw a deer off into the woods. We couldn’t make out the gender of it based on it’s location, but it looked full bodied so our guess was it was a buck. Most likely a small buck. He didn’t run off in fear so he must live in the area, with no hunting allowed he has no reason to fear people.


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