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Climb through a restored forest that boasts a rich variety of hardwood species, passing stone walls and cellar holes that reveal the hill’s agricultural past.
What makes Petticoat Hill a special place?
Petticoat Hill is one in a grouping of three hills that rises more than 1,000 feet above South Williamsburg. By the late 18th century, this was the most populous part of town, active with farming families who cleared the area for crops and pasture.
In the 1800s, you could see Mount Tom, the Connecticut River, and the Holyoke Range from the hilltop. The farmsteads have long since disappeared, reclaimed by the forest, which now obscures views that once extended to the Connecticut River and as far south as Mount Tom and Holyoke. The trees themselves are so varied and so healthy that the Eastern Native tree Society has visited to examine the reservation's offerings.
Even if you’re not an expert, you'll be impressed by the sheer diversity of specimen trees, including hemlock and white pine, red and black oak, yellow and black birch, shagbark hickory, and sugar and red maple. Some trees are more than 110 feet high, among the tallest in the region.
According to legend, when the daughters of a family who farmed the hill generations ago hung their washed petticoats to dry, the garments could be seen for miles. Hence, the name "Petticoat Hill."
1.5 miles of trails. Strenuous hiking in most parts. Allow a minimum of 2 hours. Petticoat Hill Summit is owned by the Williamsburg Water District. The Trustees own Scott Hill Summit on its slope. Locke's Loop, a new trail constructed by the Williamsburg Woodland Trails Committee, begins at the Scott Hill Summit.
When to Visit
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hour.