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Bear Swamp Hiking Trail



8.2 mile 13.3 kilometer point to point
81% Runnable


Ascent: 2,108' 642 m
Descent: -1,750' -533 m
High: 1,937' 590 m
Low: 668' 204 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 61% (31°)


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A remote trail that winds its way up and over the rolling hills.

David Smith

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Need to Know

The tracks may be active during the summer; please use caution when crossing.

Runner Notes

The ascent to Mount Negus is more rock scrambling than actual running.


There is a small spur off Zoar Road, where you can park. To access the trail, go to the end of the road spur and cross the railroad tracks. This trail follows either blue blazes or the paw medallion. It starts with a steep ascent up to Mount Negus; this area can be tricky when it's covered with ice. It travels over the ridgeline, reaches a view, then turns into a doubletrack. It loosely follows the doubletrack up to Tunnel Road.

At Tunnel Road, the trail turns right, coinciding with Corridor 2. The trail turns left along another woods road and follows it for a short distance. When the trail reaches the paved road, it turns left to follow it. Just below the power plant, there is a map of the trail and the trail heads beneath the powerlines, here. It climbs up the hill towards the powerlines then runs through the woods for a ways.

Somewhere along the ridge, there is an old cabin. While there is a paw medallion nailed to it, I don't think this cabin is considered part of the trail. The trail reaches a point where it descends over a series of switchbacks down to the old railroad grade. From here, the trail follows the railroad grade to the right. The trail continues along the railroad grade to its end at Monroe Bridge. There is a no parking sign on the gate, here.

Flora & Fauna

Flora: Mountain Laurel, Wintergreen, Oak, Sugar Maple, Paper Birch, Grey Birch, Beech, Reindeer Lichen, Running Cedar, Hop Hornbeam, Eastern Hemlock, Red Spruce, Striped Maple.
Fungi: Tinder Polypore, Chaga, Birch Polypore, Parchment Fungi, Witches' Butter.
Fauna: Grey Squirrel, Red-Tailed Hawk, White-Tail Deer (tracks, scat), Coyote (tracks, scat).

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Land Manager: Brookfield Renewable

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Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


in Bear Swamp


  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings


in Bear Swamp


in Massachusetts


13 Views Last Month
315 Since Jan 27, 2019



Abandoned Cabin.
Feb 20, 2019 near North A…, MA
Looking north towards Bear Swamp Reservoir and a bend in the Deerfield River.
Aug 4, 2019 near Charlemont, MA
Looking West towards Zoar Gap on the Deerfield River
Aug 4, 2019 near Charlemont, MA
Hazy sun over the mountains.
Jan 28, 2019 near Charlemont, MA


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