New England Trail Review

Mount Toby

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 A small but pretty mountain trail in mid-Massachusetts.




This trail is a fairly long loop across two summits. The varied terrain and life is offset by the poor views.

The trail begins at the parking lot and winds through the woods for some time before starting a steep and somewhat lengthy climb to the summit. On the way, you get a view of some of the unique conglomerate cliffs of Mount Toby.

The summit sports a tall fire tower, but the forest blocks all of the views. A small picnic area at the summit can be a good spot for lunch before starting to descend.

The descent is a wide, road like trail that eventually reaches a major intersection. The right turn goes up hill for some distance, down for a bit, and turns left for a final ascent to the Roaring Mountaion ridge line.

After following the nondescript forest trail across the ridge, the trail descends slightly and eventually more steeply. It reaches a ruined log cabin, and off to the right near there is the ascent to the Roaring Mountain summit. Again, the views are disappointing, but you may get a glimpse of the Mount Toby fire tower.

Descent from the summit and rejoining the descending loop eventually leads to rejoining the main trail. This descends and eventually reaches a section with a variety of crossing trails. One of these leads to Cranberry Pond, a very worthwhile rest and snack spot.

Finally, the trail leads along the shore of Cranberry Pond, heading north, past several views of the pond showing beaver homes. The trees beside the trail also show numerous beaver traces.

After some time, the trail enters a tree farm area, where you may be lucky enough to see some deer. Not far from there, it opens onto the road, and a short walk to the left takes you to the parking lot at the trailhead to finish the hike.

Images and Text From The Trail

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A large rock composed of smaller rocks in a finer matrix; beyond, the dirt path leading into the shadows between green trees. A small cliff like a nearly breaking wave, dark, studded with separate rocks. A concrete cylinder topped with a brass disc aged green, sitting in poor soil with sparse grass around it. A pair of rubbery cups on the leaf litter, their external surfaces coated with minute brown particles. A

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