We decided on another of the Trustees of Reservations properties in the Berkshires. Monument Mountain is about an hour from Albany and could be our favourite day-hike from our five years and 258 days in the region (and we have done quite a few!).
Our loop - up the Hickey Trail (yes really), along the Squaw Peak Trail and back along part of the Indian Monument Trail was about 2.5 miles and took us as many hours.
Exile #3 spotted this corkscrewing vine. Further up, there were some tantalising glimpses of views on the way up, but we needn't have tried too hard to see these because a short side trail up another steep trail took us up to Devil's Pulpit where the views were stunning and the trail became precarious enough to recall the sign warning us to keep an eye on the children!
The view from Devil's Pulpit:
The Exiles at the summit:
We didn't find out why it is called Monument Mountain, but there is a monument of sorts - commemorating the donation of the land to its current stewards.
This ridge and the cliffs of Monument Mountain were conveyed to the Trustees of Public Reservations by deed bearing date October 19 AD 1899 in fulfilment of a wish of Rosalie Butler that such portions of this mountain might be preserved to the people of Berkshire as a place of free enjoyment for all time.Well, it may only be 113 years later, and so some way short of 'all time', but I can confirm that we enjoyed it immensely.