May 17, 2015
Distance: 12.7 miles
Time: 6 hours 37 minutes (including swim time)
Average moving time: 2.12 mph
Elevation gain: 1,873 feet
Our GPS found this spot as the intersection of Washington Mountain Road and W Branch Rd. Our map calls the road Pittsfield Road. Parking is on a pull out on the shoulder of the road, next to AT sign. Room for around 7 cars.
Map:Appalachian Trail Guide to Massachusetts Connecticut
Restrooms: Privy at shelter
Year to date miles: 184.5
Cross street from parking area.
Cross two dirt roads.
Hike along Finerty Pond.
Where trail turns away from pond (to the right), turn around.
Shortly after turning around, there is a short herd path to the pond which is a good place to stop for dog swimming.
Retrace steps to car.
No views, but a nice hike. There were minor hill climbs, but nothing very steep. This is a wooded hike, with typical footing being dirt, rocks, roots.
Glen liked the pine forest areas - the smell reminds us of being close to the summit of a Catskill 3500 footer (and the joy of knowing its all downhill from there!).
I liked the ponds - they make the dogs very happy. All of our dog swimming was done at Finerty Pond. Besides that pond, there were a number of smaller ponds/swamps that were home to beavers. We saw 2 beavers swimming in one of them. They were large and pretty cute, even though beavers are rodents, and because of that, I keep think of them as being oversized rats. I didn't let the dogs swim with the beavers (much to Trek's disappointment).
The dirt roads the trail cross are quiet roads, but they do have the occasional car or truck.
We stopped and looked at October Mountain shelter. It was a pretty high-end shelter, with skylights and bunk beds. Glen was impressed.