Mount Toby Hiking Guide

Mount Toby in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts is a fun fire tower hike. We'll follow the Robert Frost Trail to the summit. Climb the fire tower and enjoy the views. We return via the Upper Link Trail and the Robert Frost Trail. This informative video includes details on driving directions, trails, facilities and views.

Mount Toby, Sunderland, Mass.

Video

 

Summary

Mount Toby in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts is a fun fire tower hike.

From Massachusetts Route 2, follow the signs to Route 63 South.Take a right onto Route 47 South. Follow Route 47 for about a mile to Reservation Road on your left. The trailhead is on your right

Parking is free in a small gravel lot. Overflow parking is available on Reservation road. There are no toilets at the trail head.

Mount Toby State Forest enjoys a unique status. Although it a Massachusetts State Forest, it is actually managed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an experimental forest.

We start our hike on the Robert Frost Trail. Follow the orange blazes. The hike starts out on a woods road with very moderate grades. It’s a very pleasant walk.

After just over a mile, the trail steepens and follows power lines. The Robert Frost Trail makes a hard right turn at the junction with the Upper Link Trail. Make a note of this junction and keep following the power lines and the orange blazes. Be sure to turn around from time to time and check the view behind you.

After about 2 miles, you encounter the Sunderland Fire Tower, marking the summit. The tower sits in a small grassy clearing with picnic tables. In order to get a view over the trees, you must climb the stairs of the tower. The top of the tower is closed. But there are several landings you can stand on.

Looking East, you’ll see New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock along the Horizon. Mount Wachusett is further to the right. Looking west toward the Berkshires, Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts can be seen on the horizon. You’ll also enjoy nice views of the Pioneer Valley and the Connecticut River.

Leaving the Summit next to a kiosk, follow the Robert Frost Trail on a woods road, descending at a very moderate grade. Take a left onto the Upper Link Trail. The trail is unmarked, but follows a woods road for it’s entire length.

You may see confusing markings on some of the trees. They are NOT blazes. They are marked for research, not navigation.

On my visit, I found several blowdowns on the trail. But there were easily crossed. You will return to the Robert Frost trail and the power lines at the trail junction I mentioned earlier. Continue straight descending beneath the power lines. Follow the orange blazes.

Continue following the Robert Frost trail until you reach the parking lot.

Photos

Map

Driving Distances and Times

 

Links

 

Important Safety Information

The information provided is based on observations made on the day I shot the video and my recollections of previous visits to this area. Please be aware; New England weather can change very quickly. Also, trails may be closed or re-routed. The information provided here is made without warranty to completeness and/or accuracy. You and you alone are responsible for your safety whenever you venture outdoors. This includes but is not limited to having proper, clothing, equipment, provisions, physical fitness, experience and sound judgement. Learn more about hiking safely at www.hikesafe.com

 

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