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Ascend through orchards and woodlands to where twin ancient formations of exposed bedrock offer panoramic vistas of the serene Tyringham Valley.
What makes Tyringham Cobble a special place?
A geologic wonder, the Cobble (possibly derived from a German word for “rocks”) was born from massive tectonic movements that shifted ancient strata, leaving an exposed underbelly of rock atop a high ridge. Today, you can follow a loop trail past rugged ledges to the summit, which emerges at a wildflower-festooned field – a perfect spot for a picnic.
The delights of Tyringham Cobble begin on your drive to the reservation, as you pass through the village center of Tyringham and the pastoral scenery of Tyringham Valley.
Once at the reservation, two miles of trails, including a section of the Appalachian Trail, pass over the twin knobs of Tyringham Cobble offering spectacular views of the valley. Wildflowers, blackberries, blueberries, and wild strawberries grow in clearings and open meadows.
While hiking, keep an eye out for an unusually shaped rock formation known as Rabbit Rock. Hop Brook, a favorite fishing stream of President Grover Cleveland, meanders along the northern edge of the reservation on its way west to the Housatonic River.
According to geologist Nicholas Ratcliffe, Tyringham Cobble is one of the few places in New England where you can stand on a major thrust fault. The gently sloping base is made of Ordovician marble rocks (where calcium- and magnesium-loving plants thrive). The top is made of Precambrian gneisses. Some of the rocky proof, gathered more than a century ago by geologist Daniel Clark, lies far below the rugged summit, in the stone work above the fireplace of the Tyringham Public Library.
2-mile loop trail. Moderate hiking, strenuous in places.
When to Visit
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1½ hours. Please note that the parking area is not plowed in winter.