Laura’s Tower Trail & Ice Glen Trail – Stockbridge, Mass
LAURA’S TOWER TRAIL
A quiet, wooded assent, starting out through old stand pine and hemlock. Midway up, a boulder outcropping gives a hint of the wonders of Ice Glen. Nearing the end of the climb is a large section of birch interspersed with mountain laurel.
A metal tower at the summit provides a panoramic view of the middle Berkshires, including Mount Greylock to the north, the highest point in Massachusetts. On a clear day, one can see 68 miles west to the New York Catskills, and 50 miles north to the Green Mountains in southern Vermont.
Directions: After crossing the Goodrich Memorial footbridge at the end of Park Street, proceed over the railroad tracks and up the trail. At the fork (about ¼ of a mile), take the left and continue up to the summit.
Length: 1.5 miles round-trip.
Difficulty: Moderately difficult. 600’ vertical ascent
ICE GLEN TRAIL
A clamber over, under and around giant boulders in a glacial ravine. The sides of the glen are covered with old stand pine and hemlock. The crags and crannies of the rocks are said to harbor ice and snow into the summer. At the south end of the glen is reputedly the tallest pine in Massachusetts.
Directions: After crossing the Goodrich Memorial footbridge at the end of Park Street, proceed over the railroad tracks and up the trail. At the fork (about ¼ of
a mile), take the right and continue over to the glen.
— 1 mile round trip if retracing back through the glen
— 2 miles round trip if returning via Ice Glen Road, South St. and Park St.
Difficulty: Difficult. Some sections require climbing and holding to navigate boulders.
The Laurel Hill Association is the nation’s oldest village beautification society. Founded in 1853 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, it has played a key role in the beautification of the Berkshire County town. It owns the property for Laurel Hill, near the Stockbridge town center and maintains the trail for Ice Glen.
By keeping down weeds, putting in sidewalks, lamps, and trees while helping construct the local library, the Laurel Hill Association helped make Stockbridge well known as a pretty village to visit by the 1880s. This encouraged the growth of tourism and summer residence, including the Berkshire Cottages