Monument Mountain is a well-known hiking spot in Great Barrington. So popular in fact, that a recent USA Today article named the mountain to its list of “50 Most Beautiful Sights in the U.S.”  

Literary giants like Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne drew inspiration from the views at the 1,642-foot peak, and an estimated 20,000 hikers make the climb to the top each year to enjoy the scenery. Enjoy Connecting Point’s visit to the mountain on a glorious autumn day! 

Read the full transcript:

Jon Hanauer, Appalachian Mountain Club, Berkshire Chapter: I’ve been hiking it so long, I don’t remember probably the first time was 20 years ago. I don’t remember how I actually got started with it. But it’s a it’s a wonderful mountain.

The views on the top are fascinating. You can see great views of the Berkshires, including Mount Greylock, Mount Everett to the south in the southern Berkshires. I think you can see part of the Taconics, which are along the New York state border. And on a clear day, you can see the Catskills.

Brian Cruey, The Trustees of Reservations: Monument Mountain is part of the Trustees of Reservations, which is a statewide organization. Monument is actually one of our oldest reservations, given to us in 1899 by Charles Butler.

So, it’s really important to us and has quite a significance here in the region, first as a sacred site for the Stockbridge Mohegan Tribe, and then as a place of literary importance because it’s where Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne met for a very famous picnic in 1850 and where the idea for Moby Dick came from.

USA Today just named Monument Mountain, the most beautiful place in Massachusetts. I can see why they made that choice. And I think most people who do the hike and visit the mountain also can see, you know, why it is designated as one of Massachusetts’ most beautiful sites.

Jon Hanauer: I think we’re lucky. I think I take it for granted that we live in an area where there’s so much hiking.

Maureen McFarlan, Monterey, MA: It’s a challenge to get to the top. Awesome views and it’s close by my hometown.

Keith Seidman, Great Barrington, MA: I don’t think you can ever not appreciate it, once you come up here, because it is so nice. And you appreciate even more that you have access to it.

Brian Cruey: The peak is at sixteen hundred and forty two feet. That’s about a 700 foot climb from the parking lot where you enter the trail. It’s about 500 acres and there’s roughly three and a half miles of trail there.

It’s fun to work in the shadow of Monument Mountain. I feel very fortunate to be doing what I do for the Trustees, to have such inspiring places, you know, to keep our work going, and inspiring new members and future stewards of the many properties that we manage across the state.