Public Info


Hiking & Jogging
Miles of trails and abandoned roads are available for the casual stroller as well as the more avid hiker and trail runner. Some are long and arduous while others are wide, level and short. Views vary from tree trunk close-ups to vast mountain landscapes to the placid Hoosic River. See hiking trails for more details and a map of the area.
Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing
A four and a half mile figure eight loop is maintained in the winter for classical cross country skiing. The trail is groomed when conditions permit. Snowshoeing is permitted on all trails.
Horse-back Riding
This activity is restricted to the north spur of the lower loop trail, continuing up the carriage road trail and out to Northwest Hill Road. Horseback riding is only permitted on THE HOOSIC RIVER TRAIL between July first and October 15th of each year. Thank you for restricting your riding activities to designated trials and seasons.

Wildlife Watching
Deer, squirrels, chipmunks, wood frogs, garter snakes, ruffed grouse, woodcocks and chickadees abound in the Hopkins and with some patience and a little luck, you’ll see wealth of wildlife and their sign during your hike. For more information on prime wildlife viewing areas, as well as bird counts and other guided viewing activities, contact the Forest Manager.

Dog Walking
The Hopkins Forest provides recreation for pets as well as people. We do ask, however, that dogs be kept on a leash at all times in the Hopkins Forest. We feel that this is necessary to avoid conflicts with the research plots and teaching activities that are central to the Forest’s mission. Additionally, keeping your dog on a leash will prevent disturbance to other trail users and minimize interactions with wild animals. Thank you for your cooperation.

Deer Hunting during the two week Massachusetts shotgun season is allowed in the Hopkins Forest. All hunters must apply for and obtain a permit to hunt on the premises. Hunting during all other seasons and in New York and Vermont sections of the forest is prohibited.  During the 12-day 2016 shotgun season, hunters recorded four deer harvests from the property.  Contact the Center for Environmental Studies for a hunting application.

Maple Sugaring
In spite of the mild and short winter, the 2016 maple sugaring season was a solid one in Hopkins Forest.  Indeed, the 2016 yield of 35 finished gallons came in right around our 17 year average. This season was ones that we’ve  had in that period, with operations coming to a halt in mid-March. Come out and check out or operation this March.

Public Programs
Throughout the year, there a festivals and field days for the public. These include Fall Festival, Maple Sugar Days, and Spring Field Day. See Events Calendar for upcoming events.

School Groups
The Hopkins Forest provides a fine outdoor learning environment for elementary and high school students as those in college. Our 24 seat classroom is a good place to introduce a topic before heading out into the field.  Schools from around the area are invited to visit the forest to visit the sugar house in late winter, explore a stream in the spring or do field studies on ecosystems/foodwebs and geology in the fall.  Williams student educators are available to lead these and other educational programs — indeed we hosted approximately 700 elementary students on field trips during the 2015-16 academic year.  Please call in advance if you would like to schedule a visit.