Explore woods roads through a former working forest and trek to a summit that rewards with panoramic views from Mount Wachusett to Vermont’s Green Mountains.
What makes Peaked Mountain a special place?
The reservation lies amid one of the most pristine, undeveloped areas of the state, with broad views of rural and forested landscapes in every direction. From the 1,227-foot summit of Peaked (pronounced “pea-kid”) Mountain, one can gaze northward across the Quabbin Reservoir watershed and glimpse New Hampshire's Mount Monadnock.
The ascent from the main entrance to the summit of Peaked Mountain is a 467-foot gain in elevation that is strenuous in places. At a moderate pace, allow 45 minutes each way. The summit reveals spectacular views of undisturbed rural and forested landscapes in every direction: Connecticut's Shenipsit State Forest to the south, Mount Monadnock to the north, and Mount Wachusett to the northeast. In between lies a sweep of rolling New England countryside with valley farms and small villages. The Valley View overlook provides views of nearby Boulder Hill and the City of Springfield to the west.
At the main, Peaked Tract, fire roads (named by and for members of the Peaked Mountain Co-op, who built the roads following a forest fire in 1984) lead through quiet woods that attract songbirds, such as thrushes, warblers, blue jays, cardinals, and black-capped chickadees, as well as turkey vultures, hawks, and barred owls. At the Miller Forest Tract, a second trail leads to and encircles Lunden Pond.
Adjacent to Peaked Mountain and abutting Shenipsit State Forest at the Connecticut state border is a 530-acre parcel of wildlife conservation land owned by a local partner organization, the Norcross Wildlife Foundation.
3.5 miles of forest roads on Peaked Mountain. The ascent from the main entrance to the summit is a gradual, 467-foot gain in elevation that is strenuous in places and takes 45 minutes each way. There is also a one-mile woodland trail looping around Lunden pond; easy walking.
The trails at the Miller Forest Tract allow for a different experience. Follow Butler Road North about ½ mile to a 6–8 car parking lot. From there, a 1-mi. easy-walking woodland trail loops around Lunden Pond, where you can glimpse beavers, herons, and other wildlife drawn to the quiet waters. Sandy soils here support a forest of mature pine and oak. Other trails at the Miller Tract lead to a historic hunting cabin.
When to Visit
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours.
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.
138 Butler Road
Monson, MA 01057
Miller Forest Track Entrance:
Get directions on Google Maps.
From I-90, take Exit 8 to Rt. 32 South.
Follow Rt. 32 to Monson and proceed
4.5 mi. Just before the soldier statue in
Monson turn right onto High St. Take
immediate left onto Ely Rd. Proceed 1 mi.,
then go straight at stop sign onto Lower
Hampden Rd for 2 mi. Turn left onto
Butler Rd. Continue 0.5 mi. to Miller
Forest Tract entrance and parking (6 cars)
on right or 1.2 mi. to main entrance and
parking (20 cars) on left.
When to Visit
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours. The summit is a short, though moderately steep, 45-minute hike (one-way) from the parking area.
FREE to all.
Remains of charcoal mounds and a collier's fireplace indicate that Peaked Mountain was the site of a 19th-century operation that provided fuel for local iron smelters and forges. Trees were felled, upended in large circular piles, covered with earth, and ignited. They were then monitored for up to ten days straight, to ensure that they smoldered without burning.
Later in the 20th century, a co-op of former property owners managed the mountain’s forests for timber and firewood production.
In the mid-1990s, local landowners Len and Roslyn Harrington began the process of securing their mountain property for posterity. Generous neighbors Richard Elliott and the Miller family, hundreds of other supporters, and the Town of Monson and the Norcross Wildlife Foundation also participated. Working with The Trustees, almost a thousand acres were preserved. The Peaked Mountain reservation was formally introduced in October of 1999.
Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a gift of Leonard and Roslyn Harrington, Richard Elliott, and the Miller family in 1999. Additional land purchased in 1999. The Elliot parcel (37 acres) was added in 2009.
The Trustees annually hosts the Peaked Mountain Birthday Run in commemoration of the property. Check our events calendar for details on this and other programs and activities at Peaked Mountain.
Trail maps are distributed free from bulletin board in parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you 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:
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Before Setting Out
We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:
Our challenge to get out and hit the trails. Hike 125 miles between May 21 & December 31 and be entered to win prizes.
Let's get hiking >>
Peaked Mountain Trail Run
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Get More Info >>
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