The Tully Trail is a 22-mile loop trail that encircles the largely undeveloped Tully Valley in the North Quabbin Region of Central Massachusetts. From the summit of Tully Mountain to the cascading waters of Doane’s Falls, the trail connects some of the region’s most scenic properties and views.
Before You Begin
On the Trail
Respect Private Property
Dogs on the Trail
Parking and Access
Call 978.248.9455 for more information. Walk-in tent sites are available at the Tully Lake Campground.
Exploring the Trail
The trail begins at the Tully Lake Campground, a property of the Army Corps of Engineeers, where hikers will find free parking, a map board with current information about the trail and the surrounding area, and a pay phone. During the camping season, the campground's bathhouse will be available to hikers.
Along the eastern portion of the trail, which is mostly a single-track wilderness footpath, you'll find a series of waterfalls and ridgeline views on three reservations managed by The Trustees of Reservations. At Doane's Falls, Lawrence Brook tumbles over a series of three falls before it reaches Tully Lake, while a short, steep side trail takes you to Spirit Falls, which is part of the Harvard Forest. Large boulders, small forested islands, and flat rock slabs are a favorite for picnickers and hikers. Along Jacobs Hill, the trail follows the ridgeline and provides spectacular views of the forested slope of Tully Mountain, Mount Grace, and the Berkshire Hills. At the northeastern end of the loop, the trail winds through a dense forest to Royalston Falls where Falls Brook plunges forty-five feet into a granite basin carved by the rushing waters.
At the northern tip of the trail loop, the Tully Trail connects to the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail (M&M Trail), which hikers can follow south to Connecticut or north to New Hampshire's Mount Monadnock. Here Tully Trail passes also through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management's (DEM) Royalston and Warwick State Forests linking the trail to more than 7,000 acres of protected forest land and a multi-use trail system open to hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling (where appropriate). The several miles of trail that are on DEM land traverse hilly terrain through a sometimes dense forest canopy, wind through low-lying areas near wetlands like those along the Tully River, and also lead to scenic outlooks including Bliss Hill, which offers a fine view of Mount Grace. DEM also manages Orange State Forest.
As the trail heads south toward Tully Mountain, it passes through two wildlife management areas managed by MassWildlife. Both Fish Brooks Wildlife Management Area and the Tully Mountain Wildlife Management Area are open to fishing, hunting, trapping, and other passive outdoor recreation activities. Rising some 1,160 feet, Tully Mountain offers spectacular views of the North Quabbin region and a fitting reward for your hike.
Building the Trail
Endorsed in 1997 as the first project of the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership and galvanized by the support of the National Park Services Rivers & Trails Program, the Tully Trail was completed in 2001. The trail was designed to provide the public with an exceptional hiking experience and to showcase various types of land conservation, including state forests, wildlife management areas, commercially managed forests, and privately preserved areas. The trail has led to increased trail protection efforts, such as the Commonwealth's Tully Initiative. Though the trail grew out of a partnership of various government agencies and conservation organizations, a grassroots movement of volunteers helped make the trail possible. And while large segments of land are located on protected landscapes, the trail would not have been possible without the private landowners who granted trail easements. Today, the Tully Trail is maintained by The Trustees of Reservations with the help of numerous volunteers and other organizations within the partnership: