To the editor: The first time I went to hike at Hollow Fields on Perry’s Peak in Richmond, property owned and maintained by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, I wasn’t sure where or how I could access the point of entry to hike because BNRC, like other conservation organizations, does not put big, flashy signs up but rather puts signage that fits with the surroundings. 

Once found, I have had many happy hikes there with my friends and husband, all of us considered "elderly" by many. We hike properties of Audubon, Trustees of Reservations, BNRC and others which these organizations lovingly maintain, some hand-in-hand with private-land owners. The people I have encountered over many years of these hikes have been respectful of the land and its surroundings and respectful of and grateful to the "land-keepers," be they BNRC or private owners.

If the owners of homes on Perry’s Peak have had experiences other than that, they have the right, like all of us fortunate enough to own property, to put signage to clearly identify where their property begins and, if need be, inform the authorities. Whether those who have sought to restrict the access to or use of Hollow Fields did not "intend" to prevent the enjoyment of anyone, the consequences of their actions would indicate otherwise. ("Hollow Fields reserve provides easy access to outdoor recreation, but neighbors contend it's not permitted," Eagle, Jan. 9.)

Currently, when the longer days of daylight come, we cannot hike there past 5 p.m., thus denying us hours of hiking. The new hours won’t allow us to take our grandchildren to see the firefly displays we have seen. When we decide to hike or snowshoe today or any day, I feel the "chilling effect" of their actions. I wonder how many others have felt it. I plan to attend future Richmond town meetings to support any plans that do not restrict access to Hollow Fields and to encourage the use of conservation land for all.

Martine Carroll, Richmond