Outdoors

12 ‘Must See’ Boulders in the Berkshires

Whether you’re into “bouldering” — climbing boulders — or just looking for an interesting outing, ice age glaciers left behind plenty of humongous rocks in Massachusetts.

Christy Butler, co-author of “Rockachusetts: An Explorer’s Guide to Amazing Boulders of Massachusetts,” recently shared 12 of the best balanced, best split, most historic, perfectly profiled and creatively painted boulders in the Berkshires.

1. Balance Rock

Lanesborough

BalanceRock #4 Lanesborough MA  4X6w (1).jpgPerched about three feet off the ground, Balance Rock, in Lanesborough, is the king of Berkshire County boulders.

This balanced rock is a fine specimen that’s gained international acclaim thanks to its career as a postcard model — a gig that goes back more than 120 years.

2. Big Rock

Middlefield

Big Rock 0079  Middlefield MA  4x6w.jpgThough technically not in Berkshire County, this erratic is just a stone’s throw (see what we did there?) away in Hampshire County. You may have already driven through the center of Middlefield, unknowingly passing this large boulder sitting only 200 yards from the road.

Big Rock, as with many large erratics, is often the center of community fun. During summer, “Middlefield Appreciation Days” include hiking tours to the rock.

3. Blue Dot Boulder

Monroe

Blue Dot Trail Boulder #3 Dunbar Brook Monroe St Forest MA  4X6w.jpgThis massive and humongous boulder, is located in the middle of the Dunbar Brook Trail in the Monroe State Forest.

Hikers and boulderers alike are no stranger to this giant. The trail boasts other large moss-covered boulders and a pristine brook that tumbles and drops 700 vertical feet in two miles, forming entrancing waterfalls, rapids and pools.

4. Boundary Boulder

Florida

Florida State Forest Boulder #1 Rt2 Florida MA Oct 2014 4x6w.jpg

This obscure boulder in Savoy Mountain State Forest will make you say “Wow!” the first time you see it.

From North Adams, you’ll find this rock by turning left on a dirt road about 1 mile southeast of the Hairpin Turn.

The road ends with a small parking lot. From there, follow a well-defined, old woods road north for eight-tenths of a mile. The boulder will be on your left.

5. Frog’s Landing

Lenoxdale

Frogs Landing 9801 Lenoxdale MA 2008 Combo  R 4x6Vw.jpg

Sometimes, you can’t help but notice a rock, especially when it’s painted to look like a frog.

Found sunning itself in the middle of the Housatonic River, this frogs has been a traditional landmark since 1898 when Peter J. Tyler had a house painter named Amos Washington create the first frog.

Since then, it has been repeatedly repainted and recently moved into the river onto a concrete pad.

6. Shark Rock

Richmond

Shark Rock Lenox Rd 5798 Richmond MA Oct09Vx4X6w.jpg

Jutting out from a shoulder of Lenox Mountain Road in Richmond, this boulder has got some real bite.

But don’t try to kill this shark, it has some serious community backing. Over the years, community members and artists have joined together to keep its jaws sparkly white with a fresh coat of paint.

7. Lime Kiln Boulder

Sheffield

Lime Kiln Audubon Boulder#2 Sheffield MA July 2013 4X6w .jpgJust off of the Quarry Trail at Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll find this glacial erratic just hanging out among the trees. This boulder may seem out of place, but for many New England farms, having a large boulder like this was an asset. Often, farmers would use it for “boulder quarrying,” or hand-cutting boulders into chunks for construction, foundations or bridge abutments.

8. Balanced Rock No. 1

Savoy Mountain State Forest

BalanceRock1Savoy.jpgYou’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of, or seen, this classic “holding up the balanced rock” pose at Balance Rock No. 1 in Savoy State Forest.

Located just off Tannery Road (0.9-mile trek from New State Road) on the way to Tannery Falls, this rock is a popular photo op.

But, did you know about Balance Rock No. 2? Check out No. 9!

9. Balanced Rock No. 2

Savoy Mountain State Forest

BalanceRock2Savoy.jpgLocated between North Pond and South Pond, Balanced Rock No. 2 is smaller than its bigger, more well-known sister boulder, but it still deserves some love.

This rock can be found adjacent to the Savoy Campground. Take the North Loop Trail for a tenth of a mile. The rock will be perched to your left and clearly identified with a sign that reads “Balance Rock.”

10. The Prairie

Dalton

prairie.jpgIn the vast woodlands between Dalton up northward, The Prairie is an excellent example glacial striation, or the scratches or gouges cut into bedrock by glacial abrasion.

A very large area — about 250 by 250 yards, plus a smaller moraine nearby — remains isolated from development.

This site is well worth the afternoon effort for an adventurous discovery.

11. Gorilla Profile Rock

Tyringham

Gorilla Profile Rock  0418 Tyringham Rd Tyringham MAOct 2014 PR 4X6w.jpgIf you look closely, in the right light and at the right angle, you may see that this rock isn’t monkeying around.

This 8-foot rock bears an uncanny resemblance to the profile of a gorilla.

View this roadside rock (located on private property) about 2.7 miles south on Tyringham Road.

12. Mohawk Rock

Savoy

Mohawk Rock #2 Rt2 Savoy MA Oct 2014 4x6w .jpgLocated in Mohawk Trail State Forest, this 10-by-15 foot boulder rests on the side of the hill overlooking Cold River.

Find this rock off of Route 2 (the Mohawk Trail) near Black Brook Road.

Warning: You’ll have to bushwack up the side of the hill to find the path to this one, but it’s well worth it.


Read More

“Rockachusetts: An Explorer’s Guide to Amazing Boulders of Massachusetts” is available for purchase online at amazon.com.

4 thoughts on “12 ‘Must See’ Boulders in the Berkshires”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s