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What to expect: It's a short walk from the parking lot to Sunset Rock, a flat overlook with a view of North Adams and excellent sunsets on clear nights. An out-and-back hike to Spruce Hill is 6 miles, but the Sunset Rock loop is just 1.6 miles, and an excellent way to squeeze a bit of exercise in after a work day.

Start at the trailhead on Route 2. You've already done most of the climbing in your vehicle, so the walk to Sunset Rock is just a short, gentle climb, perfect for novice hikers and families. If you decide to keep walking after getting to the lookout, the path levels off a bit, through forest and low shrubs, getting occasionally narrow. Though the trip back to the parking lot is pretty quick, if you decide to stay until after the sun sets, it's best to bring a flashlight just in case.


Directions: 2441 Mohawk Trail, North Adams, on the right just after the "Hairpin Turn" and Wigwam Western Summit.

— Meggie Baker, calendar editor


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