CHESTER – Need to take a hike? Join the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. at Sanderson Brook Falls (GPS Location: 42.2562N, 72.9468W) for a 1.25 mile hike, rated easy with some slopes.
The 60-foot cascade at Sanderson Brook Falls is part of the Chester-Blandford State Forest, which also includes remnants of small mining operations and is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The state forest was established in 1924 when local lumber companies sold the land to the state. The Civilian Conservation Corps. was active in the forest from 1934 to 1940. During that time, the Corps. constructed a campground, pavilions, trails, ski runs, and the road and bridges that lead to Sanderson Brook Falls.
The trail is gravel and wide and gently climbs upward.
“We cross three girder bridges and follow along Sanderson Brook then take the more narrow trail to the right which takes us to the bottom of the waterfall. Be prepared for ice, snow and mud, bring walking sticks and spikes if there is snow on the ground,” writes Elizabeth Massa of Western Mass Hilltown Hikers in her description.
Parking is at Sanderson Brook Falls parking lot across from Bannish Lumber on Route 20 in Chester. Hikers should meet in the parking lot where the trail begins.
Participants should plan for two hours hike time. Maps and bottle water will be provided. Full hike details are on Facebook and the website, which note that dogs are welcome. No registration is required for this free hike, however, Hilltown Hikers accepts donations.
The Western Mass Hilltown Hikers was created for those who love the outdoors, to get together and get out there. “We were once three friends who hiked every weekend to a different destination, each week more friends joined us, then friends of friends and so here we are today. a group of over 1,500 members,” said co-founder Massa.
Each month they lead a free public group hike that is open to everyone. The Hilltown Hikers is a member of the Hilltown Outdoor Stewardship Alliance.
For more hike information email [email protected] or call or text 413-302-0312.