Writer and environmentalist Lauren R. Stevens is a regular Eagle contributor.

The problem: How to get across the Taconic Range between what was to become New York State and a nascent Massachusetts. You could go north, following a water level route on the Hoosic River through Pownal, Vt. South of that, your best choice was to look for low points, passes, saddles.


Lauren R. Stevens is author of “50 Hikes in the Berkshires,” Countryman Press/W.W. Norton, 2016.