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Saturday, June 28th 2014

5:11 PM

Crag Mtn MA 6/28/14

     Although I had climbed Crag Mtn a couple of times before, I had never traveled the whole ridge to its end, and I decided that today would be a good day to do this, being partly sunny and about 82 degrees or so.   The Metacomet Monadnock trail heads north from South Mountain Road over the summit of Crag Mtn and then along a ridge for 2.3 miles, until it hits a power line right of way and comes down off the ridge.  My old 1988 guidebook showed two lookouts north of Crag Mtn, but this hike showed that both of these have now been overgrown and there are no lookouts at all north of Crag.

     I started at 1:51 PM and reached the top of Crag by 2:12 PM.  The ridge is sometimes called Brush Mtn as opposed to the lookout being Crag, but in my opinion it should all count as the same mountain.  Its highpoint is 1507 feet but despite being a low mountain it is very picturesque and makes a wonderful easy outing.  There are three nearby lookouts on the top of Crag.  On the way up, I saw quite a bit of flowering sheep laurel and some flowering partridge berry. 

     When I was on the summit a group of three hikers came up and we talked.  They lived near Mt. Watatic.  They were surprised that I was snacking on a donut but I said, "It's a wholesome snack."  From the various lookouts there are pretty views of Mt Monadnock, the Wapack Range, Mt Wachusett, Northfield Mtn, the Connecticut River, and Mt Greylock. 

     Continuing along the ridge I came to an area of flowering mountain laurel which I knew would be there from a prior hike.  However, there were no other stands of mountain laurel along the ridge.  I could see the two places where there used to be views, but they are completely overgrown now.  With some chainsaw work they could be nice viewpoints once more, but it doesn't seem that anyone wants to revive these lookouts.  By 3:21 PM I reached the power lines where the trail comes down off the ridge.  I started back.  I was back at my car at 4:58 PM.  This is a very pleasant and easy 4.6 mile hike.  It would be nice if they would restore the last lookout, because otherwise there isn't much incentive to hike the rest of the ridge beyond Crag Mtn, unless it is for curiosity's sake, as was my trip today. 

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