Get out into the great outdoors with a visit to historic Becket Quarry and Forest Preserve in in Becket, MA. The Becket Land Trust is home to miles of lovely forest trails and the remains of an historic quarry, all just 30 minutes from the Inn at Stockbridge.
Becket Land Trust protects more than 300 acres of forested land, part of which is filled with the remains of a historic and abandoned quarry. The preserve is home to miles of trails, for both hiking and x-country skiing, a demonstration forest, remains of the old quarry, and plenty of wildlife.
Though people come from all around to enjoy the Trust’s hiking trails, the big draw is the old, abandoned quarry.
The Historic Chester-Hudson Quarry
The Chester-Hudson Quarry was active from the 1860’s to the 1940’s and played an important role in the early development of the region. Granite extracted from here was used for monuments and gravestones all around the country.
When the quarry closed in the 1940’s, it seems that the site was simply abandoned. Buildings, vehicles, drills, derricks, and more were left behind to rust. The abandoned quarry became a kind of unofficial local playground, drawing hikers and the curious.
In the 1990’s, when it seemed like the area might be reopened to industry, the local community formed the Becket Land Trust to protect it.
Visiting Becket Quarry and Forest Preserve
Becket Land Trust is located at 12 Brooker Hill Road in Becket, MA, not quite 20 miles east of our Berkshires bed and breakfast, the Inn at Stockbridge.
The Trust is open 365 days a year, dawn to dusk. On site parking is plentiful though there is a $10 parking fee from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Maps and other information can be found at the Trust kiosk on the access trail. You can also find the maps online.
The maps at the kiosk detail the Forest Preserve’s trails and a Self-Guided Historic Quarry Walk. The latter will lead you to all the historic quarry’s key points of interest. These include a blacksmith shop, a standing derrick, an air-drill testing tunnel, quarry pits, and more.
Along the way you’ll see the remains of antique vehicles, mining equipment, and the remains of buildings slowly melting into the forest. In hot weather, the urge to dive into the water filled quarry pits can be tempting – but do not. Though still popular, cliff diving and swimming at the quarry is very dangerous and strictly forbidden. The water is filled with unseen hazards like jagged metal wrecks and rusty, snagging cables. Don’t do it!
Your drive to Becket takes you past a number of other popular Berkshires attractions. Places like Lee Premium Outlets, Jacob’s Pillow, October Mountain State Forest, and more. What kinds of things interest you? Let us know and we’ll help you plan your day’s itinerary. The Inn at Stockbridge loves sharing the Berkshires with our guests!
Visit becketlandtrust.org for more information. You can also visit the Trust on Facebook.