Basin Pond Trail

Ramble for a Friday

A few weeks ago, Duane and I were in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts for a family wedding. It was a lovely occasion, made even lovelier by the chance to check out a local trail. The Basin Pond Trail in Lee has an interesting history. The Berkshires are the traditional home of the Mohican people, who were forced west, first to New York in the 1780s and later to Wisconsin in the 1820s. Twice efforts to dam the outlet of Basin Pond have led to disaster. In pursuit of water power to drive manufacturing, mill owners from East Lee built a dam in 1873. When the dam failed in 1886, flood waters destroyed twenty-five mills and countless homes downstream. Seven people were killed. In 1965, a second dam was built at the outlet by real estate developers for the construction of a resort community. Three years later when the second dam failed, twelve million gallons of water surged downstream and killed two people in their Cape Street homes. Today, the property is a peaceful refuge, owned and managed by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. The 2.5 mile moderate trail crosses a network of streams and is a haven for beaver, moose, chipmunks, squirrels, and hermit thrush. For those who are into such things, the trail work is amazing. Click on the photos in the gallery below to enjoy the views.

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