Mount Marcy Trail-walk
Mount Marcy Trail
About the Area
- Location: across from 620 Glendale Road, Wilbraham MA
- Directions: From Wilbraham center on Main Street travel south towards Hampden. Take a left onto Monson Road. Go up the mountain and down the other side. Take a left onto Glendale Road at the cemetery. Travel down Glendale for a mile until you see Algonquin Drive (on left). After passing a few houses, keep your eyes peeled for an abrupt left turn (break in the wood line) which is the entrance to the Mount Marcy parking lot. Look for the Mt. Marcy sign. If you see a red house that has a “Little Brook” sign on it (on right) you went too far.
Parking is available for 6 to 8 cars. There are no bathroom facilities.
- Activities Permitted:
All passive recreational activities including hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, educational studies, and nature observation are permitted. Please be careful not to leave litter and not to deface the property. Please park in the designated area and be respectful of the neighborhoods in the area. No off road vehicles or unleashed dogs allowed.
- Length of Trail: 1.6 mile loop, .8 of a mile up; .8 of a mile back down .
- Types of Surfaces:
The south leg (left in parking lot), which has been cleared by construction equipment, is wide and clear to walk on, though vegetation will increase during the summer. The north leg (right side of parking lot) is narrow and has roots and surface vines in places. Be careful about tripping, especially if you come down this way. A walking stick or walking poles are suggested. There are switchbacks throughout (especially on the south leg), but some areas are still a bit steep. Also, in periods of rain/snow melt, sections of the bottom of the trail will be wet, so appropriate shoes are recommended.
- Interesting Facts:
-The parcel is unique and significant to Wilbraham as it is one of the two highest points in town offering 360-degree views of Wilbraham and surrounding communities. It also has three National Geodetic Survey markers embedded in its summit.
-The property serves as a habitat and migration corridor for deer, bear, wild turkey, turtles and other species of animals.
- During the late 30’s, a light beacon, funded by the postal service, was erected on Mount Marcy for plane mail route safety. A tower was built where the cement pad is and was decommissioned by the mid 40’s when planes could fly higher. It was taken down in the 70’s
- Elevation Factors: The trek starts at the 275 foot level and is mostly uphill to its summit at 962 feet. Switchbacks give you a bit of relief in places, but most of the hike is steep up or steep down. Going up is a solid lung workout. Going down requires careful stepping so you do not lose your balance. The trail up is definitely moderate to high difficulty depending on the shape that you are in. The trail down is not physically challenging, but to some hikers, keeping their balance can be challenging at times because of the angle of decline and the uneven terrain in spots.
- Map: (view the map PDF)
- Hiking Directions:
- From the parking lot, you have two choices. On the south (left), you can take the wide, cleared trail. On the north (right), you can take the wooded, narrow trail. Both are of equal length, but the north trail has some rock outcroppings, roots and vines. The south trail has more switchbacks and some uneven ground.
- Follow the trail markers to the top. There are no well-worn side trails, but you can be deceived by a random wildlife corridor or an open area, so follow the markers.
- At the summit, hunt around for the three geodetic markers and enjoy the view.
- The view is much more open in the late fall, winter, and early spring, but even in the summer, there are areas, either at the summit or just below, that have good vistas.
- You can take the other trail back down in a loop or go back down by the trail you took up. Both go back to the parking lot.
042° 07.751 N 072° 24.476 W - Mount Marcy Summit
042° 07.796 N 072° 23.979 W - Mount Marcy Base Parking Lot
One of three Geodetic Survey Markers