Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Landscape Worthy of a Painting

Are you traveling to Williamstown this summer to visit the newly renovated Clark Museum? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to hike the beautiful trails on the Clark property. Located behind the Clark, Stone Hill is a favorite spot for local dog walkers and hikers alike. The trails lead through a wooded hillside, as well as a lush meadow. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of the cows that frequent the meadow. They love to lounge, feast, and romp in the tall grass. Don’t forget to close all gates behind you so that the gentle spotted critters don’t get loose!

Dotted with birch trees, the Stone Hill meadow is surrounded by forest. It has a magical quality, as if a centaur or some sort of mythical creature will come strutting out from among the trees. From the summit of Stone Hill, you will be able to look down on the Clark Center with its new three-tiered reflection pool. In the distance you will see landmarks from downtown Williamstown peeking through the trees: the white steeple of the First Congregational Church, Thompson Memorial Chapel, and West College, the oldest building on the Williams College campus. West College was built in 1790 and at one time served at the dining hall, library, dormitory, and chapel for all of the students! You will also be able to see the Green Mountains of Vermont stretched out before you.

To access the trails, begin at the Nan path that leads to the Lunder Center at Stone Hill. As you walk along the path, follow the signs for the woodland trails, followed by the pasture trails. All trails are depicted on the maps of the Clark campus that you can pick up at the Clark Center. Don’t forget your bug spray and your walking shoes! You may even want to venture back to see Stone Hill in Autumn. You will be able to admire the flaming red and orange foliage of the forest and surrounding mountains.

The Clark is open daily through October 13th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Fridays in July and August, the galleries remain open until 7 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and is always free for members, children under 18, and students with a valid I.D. To see which collections and exhibitions the Clark currently has on display, visit Regardless of gallery hours, you can access the Stone Hill trails behind the Clark year-round from dawn until dusk.

It’s the ideal spot to get away from the bustle of city life and enjoy the natural beauty of Williamstown.