Chapel Brook
Find Your Place

About Chapel Brook

Hike to the top of Pony Mountain, then cool off with a summertime dip in the chilly waters of the brook’s picture-perfect pools and falls.

What makes Chapel Brook a special place?
We think it’s the rugged beauty of the landscape, like much of the Highlands a blend of steep and deep forests, sensational summit views, and streams that surge and trickle with the seasons. The brook is tranquil – except when spectacular Chapel Falls are in full roar! – and rugged Pony Mountain has a kick.

Although Pony Mountain is only 1,420 feet high, the hike to the top is exhilarating. The Summit Trail rises to meet the abrupt, vertical, 100-foot rock face of Chapel Ledge (which attracts experienced rock climbers). You’ll want to be in good shape to tackle this trail. A less-daunting, half-mile trail leads around the western side of Pony Mountain to its summit.

But, however you reach the top, the panoramic views of the Highlands and the foothills of the Berkshires, are well worth the exertion!

You can traverse the lower slopes on the D.A.R. Trail, a footpath built in partnership with the Ashfield Trails Committee that will connect to a town-wide network of walking trails. The trail currently takes you above Chapel Brook, past old foundations, along a ridgeline, and through an historic sheep pasture.

The reservation is renowned for its seasonally-torrential Chapel Falls. Just below Pony Mountain, Chapel Brook, a tributary of the South River, flows serenely through most of its journey across the property. But at Chapel Falls, a series of steep ledges, it turns wild and unruly in times of high water. The same forces that have carved the falls have formed pools and chutes where the water rushes and splashes before reverting to its quieter personality. Come summer, these pools offer a cool, welcome dip.

Trails
Two miles of trails. A half-mile trail climbs to the top of Pony Mountain. Moderate hiking, strenuous in places.

When to Visit
April 1 through December 1, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1½ hours, and 2–3 hours if hiking the D.A.R. Trail.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Mountain biking is not allowed.

  • Dogs must be kept on leash at all times.

  • Rock climbers do so at their own risk. Take special caution when standing at the Pony Mountain Overlook.

Directions

Williamsburg Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Telephone: 413.532.1631
E-mail: pvregion@ttor.org

Latitude: 42.482
Longitude: -72.760

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Points North: I-91, Exit 25 to Rt.
116 North. After 11.2 mi, continue straight
ahead onto Williamsburg Rd. (follow
Williamsburg Rt. 9 signs). Follow for 2.2 mi.
to entrance on right. Pony Mountain is on
right side of street; Chapel Falls is on left.
Parking areas (12 cars) on both sides of road.

From Points South: I-91, Exit 18 to Rt.
5 North. After approx. 1 mi. turn left onto
Rt. 9 West. Follow approx. 9 mi. Slight right
onto North Street. Continue on Ashfield
Rd./Ashfield Williamsburg Valley Rd. for 6 mi.
Continue onto Williamsburg Rd. to entrance.

Admission

When to Visit
April 1 through December 1, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1½ hours, and 2–3 hours if hiking the D.A.R. Trail.

Admission
FREE to all

Property History

After incorporation in 1765, settlers moved to Ashfield and cleared the forest for pasture. By 1831, Ashfield farmers were grazing more than 8,000 sheep. Around the same time, Chapel Falls became the site of at least two gristmills. A two-room school, which doubled as a chapel, was built above the falls to support the families in this growing community. But, as farmers moved westward, so did the agricultural economy, and farms were abandoned throughout the Highlands. Forests slowly but surely reclaimed their ancient title to the land.

Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a gift, with endowment, of Mrs. Henry T. Curtiss in 1964 in memory of her husband. Additional land purchased in 1981 and 1989 with funds given by Mrs. Curtiss. Additional land given in 1992 by Edward Preissler and Deborah Thomas, and by Michael and Jane McCusker.

Maps and Resources

You may download a trail map here.

 



Private Functions

Chapel Brook is a wonderful spot for your wedding. We can accommodate groups of up to 75 people; call 413.532.1631 or e-mail for more information.

Planning Your Visit

Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.

Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:

  • Protect wildlife and plants.
  • Guard against all risk of fire.
  • Help keep air and water clean.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
  • Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
  • Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
  • Enjoy and share the landscape with others.

Click on links below for further visitor information:

Before Setting Out

Enjoying Trustees Reservations

Safety

About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:

  1. Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.

  2. Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.

  3. Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.





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Announcements & Alerts

No advisories at this time.

Upcoming Things To Do
No events for this reservation at this time.
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