Appalachian Trail

This driving route parallels the hiking trail, from the top of New England to the heart of Dixie, taking you through continuous natural beauty—without the sweat, bugs, or blisters.

Tyringham

Route 8, US-20, and the Mass Turnpike all cross the Appalachian Trail at Greenwater Pond east of Lee, but a much more scenic stretch of the trail can be accessed south of here in the village of Tyringham (pop. 420). Site of a Shaker community in the 1800s, and later a popular artist colony, this small hamlet is situated in a delightfully rural landscape of small farms and rolling pastures. The main sight here is an odd one: Santarella (413/243-2819) the hand-hewn home and studio of British sculptor Sir Henry Kitson, whose many works include the Pilgrim Maiden monument at Plymouth and the Minuteman at Lexington Green. His house is a place where Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit would feel at home, with its sculpted rocks, twisting beams, and organic-looking, pseudo-thatched roof. Although it’s not open for tours, you can stay overnight at its cottages. It is also available for events.

South of Santarella, beyond the ever-quaint center of Tyringham, a signed parking area marks the crossing of the Appalachian Trail, which you can follow on a short (three-mile round-trip) hike through fields of wildflowers up through Tyringham Cobble to a ridge giving a good view over this pastoral valley, which feels far more remote than it really is.

 

Tyringham

Santarella (75 Main Rd.)