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Sunday, June 24th 2012

6:22 PM

Mt Race MA 6/24/12

     When the mountain laurel is flowering, it is a good idea to visit the south Berkshires, as I did on two hikes last year.  Most of the guidebooks suggest hiking to Mt Race MA from the southeast or west, but I did it from the north, by going over Mt Everett first.  The drawback to this is that I had to re-climb Mt Everett on the way back.

      The weather was supposed to be mostly sunny, about 82 degrees, which it was until it started clouding up when I was on the way out.  I arrived at the parking area at 9:53 AM and proceeded to climb Mt Everett.  Near the top there were some nice views of Mt Greylock far to the north, and Twin Lakes down below, which I called "The Eye of Sauron" in the photos because it does look like a huge eye. 

     Everett has some nice but limited views.  Be sure not to miss the side trail to the cabin which is a great lookout.  The road that goes up the mountain is closed, but if you take the Appalachian Trail, as I did, there is a side trail that goes to an open area where the road ends at a cabin and a bench. 

     The Appalachian Trail then goes far down before it reascends to Mt Race.  To my surprise I ran into a series of Appalachian Trail thru hikers.  First I met Sit Awhile and Spock (their trail names).  Sit Awhile is from Maine.  Then I met "The Dude" from Florida.  After him I met "Mouth", a cheerful young lady, who told me that there were many more behind her.  It is surprising that they made it this far north from Georgia and it's only June. 

     The top of Mt Race was very beautiful with views of the Catskills and three of the mountains that I had climbed last year in the Southern Berkshires.  I had lunch and talked to some of the hikers, including a group with a friendly dog named Rex.  There was a lot of mountain laurel on the trails today, but nothing like the stretch on Alander Mtn last year, when I hiked for an hour through big thickets  of it.  It was quite warm today but there was a little bit of an occasional breeze, especially on the summits.  I was back out at 3:50 PM. 

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