Chapel Brook
Ashfield, MA
173 acres
Bird Watching Hunting Mountain Biking Not Permitted Swimming Dog Walking Fishing Walking/Hiking (Moderate) Picnicking Regional Trail Link Private Function Rentals

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.

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

When to Visit
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1½ hours to explore onsite, and more like 3 hours if hiking the D.A.R. Trail or the Two Bridges 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.

  • Authorized bow hunting, only with written permission, is allowed on this reservation for a limited number of hunters, according to MasssWildlife regulations from mid October through December each year, from ½ hour before sunrise all day until ½ hour after sunset, Monday through Saturday. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays. Signage is posted at the property listing safety precautions, requirements, and rules for the benefit of all visitors. Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties

The Trustees reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent. Find the full policy here.


Williamsburg Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Telephone: 413.213.4751

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.


When to Visit
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1½ hours to explore onsite, and more like 3 hours if hiking the D.A.R. Trail or the Two Bridges Trail.

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

Printed trail maps are distributed free from bulletin boards in parking areas. Please understand that supplies sometimes run out. You may also download trail a map in advance of your visit.


Private Functions & Photography

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


About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land