Rand's View Out and Back
ElevationAscent: 1,110' 338 m
Descent: -1,107' -337 m
High: 1,450' 442 m
Low: 642' 196 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A long and steady climb to Prospect Mountain and the mesmerizing perspective of Rand's View.”— Lou Poulas
It culminates at Rand's View, an out-of-place open grass field that looks out on the Berkshire Mountains and surrounding farmlands. On a sunny day, especially in autumn, it is almost disorienting to break through the tree line of a dense forest into this wide open expanse. The landscape is owned by the National Park Service and therefore protected, and is truly close to what the land was like a few hundred years ago.
From the trailhead, it's a long but steady climb of about 800 feet in just under two miles to Mount Prospect. The first half mile or so of this section is fairly easy through woods and across a small but scenic open grass field. From here, the trail averages about 10% grade for the next 1.5 miles to the Mount Prospect viewpoint. There are some steep sections but just when you think you need a break it levels out for a bit before getting steep once again. This area also traverses some rocky ledges that can be slippery when wet or icy.
From Mount Prospect, the trail descends about 250 feet for 0.7 miles to Rand's View. The only potential wrong turn can happen at about overall mile 2.6, where a trail veers to the left towards the Limestone Shelter. It is clearly marked with signage and blue blazes, but if you are not paying attention it's easy to veer the wrong way.
From the sign it is only a few hundred yards to Rand's View. If the weather is nice, bring a blanket and have a picnic, you'll want to stay for as long as humanly possible before heading back to your vehicle.
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