25 Self-Guided Hikes in Western MA to Support Place-Based Learning

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Here is a list of self-guided hikes to do with your family or on your own. To support place-based learning, before you head out, conduct an online search about the natural and human history of some of these community-based educational resources. Bring with you field guides, sketchbooks, cameras, and magnifying glasses and spend the afternoon engaged in self-directed, nature-based learning!

Easy Hikes in Western MA:

  • Chesterfield Gorge, West Chesterfield
  • Dinosaur Footprints, Holyoke
  • Field Farm, Williamstown
  • Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley, Lenox
  • Mass Audubon Arcadia, Easthampton

Moderate Hikes in Western MA:

  • Bear Swamp, Ashfield
  • Bear’s Den, New Salem
  • Bullitt Reservation, Ashfield
  • Chapel Brook, Ashfield,
  • Land of Providence, Holyoke
  • Little Tom Mountain, Holyoke
  • Dry Hill, New Marlborough
  • McLennan Reservation, Tyringham
  • Mt. Warner, Hadley
  • Mountain Meadow, Williamstown
  • Notchview, Windsor
  • Questing, New Marlborough
  • Tyringham Cobble, Tyringham
  • Bradley Sanctuary, Williamsburg
  • Breckenridge Sanctuary, Williamsburg
  • William Cullen Bryant Homestead, Cummington
  • Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield

Strenuous Hikes in Western MA:

  • Glendale Falls, Middlefield
  • Monument Mountain, Great Barrington
  • Peaked Mountain, Monson
  • Petticoat Hill, Williamsburg
  • Skinner State Park, Hadley

Excerpt from Hilltown Families publication, Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts (Seasons: Sept/Oct), a downloadable resource guide that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

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