The trail climbs through the Fitch Memorial Woodlands to the top of Bee Hill, and then heads downhill into Flora’s Glen, where it meets the RRR Brooks Trail (1.8 miles). Return by retracing steps, or go right on Brooks Trail down to its trailhead on Bee Hill Rd. (another 0.7 m) and walk 0.5 m back up Bee Hill Rd. to your starting point. Moderate difficulty.
Directions from Spring St. trail kiosk
Drive west on Main St. (Rt. 2) and continue on Rt. 2 west after it joins with Rt. 7. Proceed 1.75 m beyond the Williams Inn, and take the second right onto Bee Hill Rd., an unpaved road that heads uphill. At 1.3 m turn
sharply right into a small parking area, where you will find the trailhead.
Directions from Sheep Hill trail kiosk
Either on foot: walk up the steep hill in front of you, via the Rosenburg Ramble, a trail cut in the long grass. When you reach the top of the hill, walk across Bee Hill Rd. to a small parking area, where you will find the trailhead.
Or by car: turn left at the bottom of the driveway, and at 0.75 m take your first sharp left turn on the unpaved Bee Hill Rd. After another 1.3 m turn sharply right into a small parking area you will find the trailhead.
The trail climbs somewhat steeply through a thin second-growth forest that was once pasture — the trail crosses an old stone wall into state-owned land, and for a short distance follows the route of an old woods road into a dense stand of hemlocks, where it turns sharply left and heads uphill again, with an old sheep fence visible on the right. When the trail levels off again it passes through an impressive group of old-growth maples, some of them more than six feet in diameter. (The first settlers saw bee hives in these sugar maples, and named the site Bee Hill.) Passing through a field of ferns, the trail goes up gently over the top of Bee Hill, where if you look closely you will see a geocache marker. A hundred years ago, when most of the trees around
the hilltop had been cut, it was possible to see the Williams College campus buildings from here.
The trail heads down the far side of the hill and turns sharply right. (You may also see blazes indicating the path of an unofficial side trail going straight.) The Fitch Trail heads downhill into Flora’s Glen, a steep-sided
and secluded valley drained by Flora’s Glen Brook. Passing through another dense hemlock stand and a 31-acre tract owned by the Boy Scouts, the trail terminates at a T-junction with the RRR Brooks trail, which runs parallel to the brook. At the intersection you may see vestiges of an old Boy Scout camp site on the left.
Left on the Brooks Trail would eventually take you up, via the Shepherd’s Well Trail, to the Taconic Crest Trail and from there to Petersburg Pass. Right on the Brooks Trail, with striking views down into the Flora’s Glen gorge, takes you down to a trailhead at Bee Hill Rd. The trail, re-routed several times over the years,
crosses the brook twice. The second crossing takes you over a debris delta, and past what was once an ice pond and reservoir, long filled in. At the trailhead you can turn right and walk 0.5 m uphill on Bee Hill Rd., with some lovely views east to Mt. Greylock, to your starting point. Loop total: 3 m.
The Fitch Trail is maintained by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation. The Brooks Trail is maintained by the Williams Outing Club.
(Click the red pin for directions)
NOTE: The WRLF partners with the Williams Outing Club (WOC) to maintain and improve Williamstown area trails.
The WRLF is grateful to the WOC for allowing it to use the trail information shown here. For more detailed information on area trails, the WOC Northern Berkshire guide and a full map of all area trails are available. Please contact the WOC or the WRLF for where to find the guide and maps.