Beartown State Forest

Beartown State Forest

Chances are you won’t spot a bear at Beartown State Park but you probably will a beaver. The destructive rodents leave behind teethmarks on felled trees around Benedict Pond for constructing dams and lodges. Beavers are second, only to humans, in their effect on the physical environment.

A small climb today took us up parts of the Appalachian Trail (AT) with a scenic observation point for admiring the East and Warner mountains, Mt. Everett and even the Catskills in the distance.

The AT is 2,180 miles long with 90 miles of it passing through Massachusetts including the high point of Mount Wilcox here at Beartown State Park. White splashes of paint on trees indicate where the footpath traverses.

The 12,000 acres of Beartown State Forest include abandoned access roads, small bridges, a rocky campground of 12 sites, steep ledges and a young forest. Most trees are only 70-90 years old due to farm clearing in the early 1900s.

With the sun light fading fast, we circled Benedict Pond with an interpretive guide map. Numbered posts along the trail told the history and habitat of the area.

Here my mischievous partner dances footloose on the frozen ice. He’s happy because it’s almost time for dinner at Zagat Rated Castle Street Cafe in Great Barrington. Kudos to Chef Michael Ballon for a wonderful meal.

Beartown State Forest

Beartown State Forest

Castle Street Cafe

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2 Replies to “Beavers of Benedict Pond”

  1. The Massachusetts legislature passed a dumb law banning beaver trapping, so they’ve become a real threat to people’s water supplies. On top of that it’s illegal to pull down a beaver dam once it’s been built.
    My friend Laszlo discovered that the hard part for them is sticking in the vertical sticks. Then they weave in the horizontal ones.
    So Laszlo goes out every day and pulls up the verticals. It’s been a running battle of wills for the last year or so. We’ll see who wins.

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