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Fire Tower Trail

Difficult
 5.0 (2)

A steep little climb up to the 1909 Shelburne Fire Tower.


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Map Key

1.4

Miles

2.2

KM

64%

Runnable

1,589' 484 m

High

537' 164 m

Low

1,052' 321 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

15%

Avg Grade (8°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Historical Significance · Views · Wildlife

There's limited parking on Halligan Avenue. Over 8 vehicles on Halligan Ave, and parking starts to get crowded, but it can accomodate more.

Description

This trail starts off Halligan Avenue at a kiosk and trailhead sign. Parking is limited to about 8 cars facing downhill on Halligan Avenue. (Please turn around here to park.) As you begin to ascend, you'll pass by an assortment of trees that are labeled with identification tags with a brief tree description and 7 Interpretive Panels providing information on land management. In a short distance, you'll arrive at a junction where you can either stay straight or turn right.

Following the white blazes straight will keep you on the main path to the fire tower; while following the yellow blazed Big Trees Trail will avoid one of the lower steep sections and take you by larger trees on this new (2021) alternate route to the tower. The main white and yellow trails pass beneath the transmission lines, join together at an old road, and turn right. Soon you'll enter Shelburne State Forest. In a ways, there'll be a red arrow telling you to turn left off the old road grade. Continue following the white blazes. The trail climbs moderately to the summit of Bald Mountain (aka to most as the true: Massaemett Mountain).

Here, at the summit, you'll find a stone fire tower that was built back in 1909. You can ascend the spiral staircase, but only to the top floor of the stone tower. The ranger shack (on top) is closed to the public; it appears as though it's still in use, though. From the fire tower, the Ridge Trail will take you to the Audubon's High Ledges Sanctuary and a scenic overlook.

Flora & Fauna

Flora: Black Locust, Striped Maple, Sugar Maple, Mountain Laurel.
Fauna: Mosquitoes, Gnats, Chipmunks.

Contacts

Land Manager: Town of Shelburne, MA

Shared By:

David Smith with improvements by Jim Perry

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#1

in Shelburne

#1130

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Shelburne

#1,130

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978 Since Jun 30, 2019
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