HORSE mT. Conservation Area

Description: The Horse Mountain Ridgeline creates an iconic landscape separating Williamsburg and Hatfield, overlooking the Connecticut River Valley.

The Horse Mountain Conservation Area, owned and stewarded for years by the Cole Family, is now protected open space. The high ground and steep slopes offer dramatic views and precious wildlife habitat. The Nature Conservancy has ranked this area ‘above-average’ for habitat resiliency in the era of climate change, and it is part of a greater open space landscape that supports larger animals like black bear, moose and bobcat.  Much of the land is also designated Priority Rare Species Habitat by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts because the vernal pools and surrounding woodland provide breeding and upland habitat for rare amphibians. 

For these reasons, the Williamsburg Conservation Commission, who owns the Williamsburg Horse Mountain Parcels, has designated these parcels as dog-free. Please respect this decision, leave your dogs home, or take them to one of the many other woodland trails, and enjoy the wildlife values of Horse Mountain without them.

Even though the name of this site is Horse Mountain, horses and other pack animals are not allowed on the trails either. In addition to the impacts on wildlife, the site is steep and prone to erosion. Hooves can disturb and destabilize the soil.

Enjoy the trails at Horse Mountain. Explore the “Habitat Trail” over the talus rock slope, past the bear clawed beeches, and along the edge of a beautiful shrub swamp.

Hike all the way to White Rock through the generosity of private landowners.

Return to this trailhead via the 'Potash Trail' past the 'mysterious circles' in the forest which are the suspected remains of large charcoal production fires.

Trail Use Guidelines:

Local Acquisition for Natural Diversity Project: Horse Mt. was protected by a cooperative effort of Kestrel Land Trust and the Williamsburg and Hatfield Conservation Commissions and supported by grants from the Commonwealth of  Massachusetts LAND program, Open Space Institute, and Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund.

Location: From MA-9 in the center of Williamsburg, head east approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto High St. for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto North Farms Rd. At 0.6 miles, take a left onto Cole Rd. Go 0.3 miles. Look for the parking sign at The Lope. Trail head and kiosk are across the street off Cole Rd. When approaching the trailhead please walk to the left side of the split rail fence (not in the private driveway).

Click HERE for a trail map.