Hilltown Families


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!

Self-guided hikes are a great way to keep your family active outdoors and engaged in nature! They’re also excellent ways to support learning via community-based educational resources, including land trusts & native species!

Download this free interpretive trail guide Hilltown Families created with the Hilltown Land Trust for the Bradley Sanctuary trail in Williamsburg, MA.

Guide Hikes Connect to Nature In The Maine Woods (1864), Henry David Thoreau writes: Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? where are we? Before asking the questions “Who are we? Where are we?” Thoreau already… Read More

Self-Guided Hikes in Western Massachusetts The following is a list of places to discover in your community with friends, family, or on your own. Before exploring, become aware of the literary, artistic, and historic connections that some of these places offer. Easy Hikes in Western MA: Chesterfield Gorge, West Chesterfield Dinosaur Footprints, Holyoke Field Farm, Williamstown Field Farm features a garden with 13 modern sculptures, including works by artists Henry Ferber and… Read More

In celebration of the Trustees of Reservations’ 125th anniversary, the organization is offering the Hike 125 challenge, setting local hikers to the task of hiking 125 miles of Trustees trails before the end of 2016. Along with the health benefits of hiking local trails comes opportunities to connect with the landscape and to learn about fascinating bits of history preserved on Trustees properties.

Hilltown Land Trust and Hilltown Families have joined together through a shared love of the land to offer free interpretive trail guides that connect families to local Hilltown hiking spots. The properties are all owned by Hilltown Land Trust and are available year round for public use. Each property offers a variety of paths to walk and explore forests, waterways, and wildlife habitat. The guides are accessible online and can be downloaded from the Hilltown Families’ website.

So much fun for so little money. It’s as simple as that. We are so lucky to live in a state dotted with an abundance of well maintained state forests and parks. Affordable programs are put in place for us to get as much out of them as possible. *Hint, ask at your local library whether they have free park passes to check out.

Gini from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) lays it all out for us. Get your pens and calendars out, and start scheduling time (s) for the entire family to experience our natural beauty, and connect with nature in your own backyard!

Invite yourself to the opportunity of experiencing a side of the Bear Hole watershed in West Springfield that many do not experience… at night! The West Springfield Environmental Committee is offering families a chance to explore the dark nighttime woods for themselves on a guided hike at Bear Hole this Saturday evening…

9 Hiking Adventures For All Ages in the Berkshires Get outside and explore a local mountain (and landmark!) with the family this summer!  The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is offering nearly ten different weekly hikes throughout the summer at Mount Greylock State Reservation, the highest point in the state of Massachusetts.  Families of all ages and hiking abilities will find multiple opportunities each week to venture to various parts of… Read More

Explore the hills of Western Massachusetts – spend an afternoon hiking at one of the many local state forests and parks! The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) offers families an outline of hikes at numerous locations all over the Hilltowns and Berkshires. Hikes make a great summer adventure for families. These outdoor explorations can also supplement students’ studies of local ecology – bring a field guide and learn to identify the many different trees, flowers, etc. that you discover. Check out our post and discover hikes for families in Western MA.

DCR Sponsors First Day Hikes The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will sponsor free “First Day” family hikes in 14 state parks across the Commonwealth on New Year’s Day, as a way to connect children and parents with the great outdoors even – or maybe especially – in winter. Several will be here in Western MA. First Day hikers can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in… Read More

Registration Form HILLTOWN FAMILIES presents Outdoor Adventures for Kids in the Hilltowns Spring 08 Afternoon Program A nine week Monday afternoon (4pm-5pm) adventure program for kids ages 5-7 at the TMO Base Camp in Chesterfield, MA, starting April 7th and ending June 16th, 2008. Led by Program Coordinator, Timothy Vogel of Tekoa Mountain Outdoors. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Through age appropriate activities, young kids will explore their surrounding environment on foot and in a… Read More

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