Happy National Forest Week! Get out in the Woods and Enjoy!

While Williamstown does not have a National Forest, nor does anywhere in Massachusetts for that matter, where you can celebrate National Forest week (July 12th-18th, 2021) there is the Green Mountain National Forest that extends to the southern end of Pownal, VT.  If you want to be a purest and celebrate in a National Forest, go north up White Oaks Road to the Vermont border and then park in the lot on the east (right hand) side of the road.  The trail ahead crosses the old North Adams Municipal Watershed and then parallels the Brook before criss-crossing it several times.  You’ll have to turn these sections into “splash hikes” since the bridges have been out for years.  It will be refreshing on a hot day in July.  For a more detailed description of the Broad Brook Trail see:

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/vermont/broad-brook-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map  and the US Forest Service site:  https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/regions/eastern/BroadBrookTrail/index.shtml

We lack an authentic National Forest, but do have the next generation concept for sustainable forest natural resource management and economic development in the newly-formed Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership.  The MTWP is a consortium of municipalities in Northern Berkshire and Western Franklin counties, the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, regional planning agencies, regional land trusts, watershed associations in the Hoosic and Deerfield drainage basins, and other academic and forestry-related institutions.  The partnership is dedicated to increasing sustainable natural resource-based economic development, supporting conservation of forest lands, managing our forested landscapes in a sustainable manner, and improving the fiscal sustainability of our municipalities.  Recently the MTWP has awarded grants to the Towns of Williamstown and Adams to develop forest management plans to sequester additional carbon and generate verifiable carbon offsets. Other towns have received grants to improve access to forests and woodlands in a sustainable fashion.

More information is available at:   http://www.mohawktrailwoodlandspartnership.org/

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