MA NET: Section 6
Section 6 is one of the more spectacular sections of trail in Massachusetts. It rides the skyline near the rim of the steep west-facing basalt cliffs of the Mt. Tom Range. The trail descends into the center of the Mt. Tom State Reservation where an historic CCC-built Visitor Center with a spring-fed water fountain is located. The trail climbs north to the ridgeline where the Goat Peak observation tower is located with spectacular views of the Connecticut River Valley. Then over to Dry Knoll with a great view of the Oxbow, made famous in the seminal 1836 landscape painting by Thomas Cole. The trail then proceeds to Mount Nonotuck, whose northern slope descends onto an old carriage road that was once used for visitors to the Eyrie House, a 19th century mountain top hotel. You can still visit the hotel’s ruins via a short side hike to the right of the parking area.
This section of the trail is a notorious viewing place for hawk migration. The fall hawk migration can offer some of the most incredible moments as dozens of hawks congregate in large swirling groups on their journey south. Hawk migration occurs in mid September. You may view more information on Mt. Tom State Reservation (including a trail map) online.
Note: Potable water is scarce in this section, bring an adequate supply.