Knox Trail Sandisfield with the National Parks Service narrated by Tom Ragusa Special Event

By Western Mass Hilltown Hikers (other events)

Saturday, June 1 2024 10:00 AM 2:30 PM EDT

#hikethehilltowns with us!

Knox Trail Sandisfield with the National Parks Service narrated by Tom Ragusa Special Event with the National Parks Service

June 1 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Parking at Upper Spectacle Pond GPS 42.177071, -73.118079  From Route 23, turn onto Upper Spectacle Pond Road (Otis State Forest), turn left onto Webb Road park by the pond before the bridge.
Hike Rating:  Moderate (due to length), approximately 4.5 miles one way on a mix of forest roads, side roads and open woods with no trail. The route is not blazed, we will hike together as a group. Expect uneven ground, roots, mud, and ups and downs. Carpool is required.   We will leave a few vehicles on Route 8 at the snowmobile bridge where we will end the hike GPS 42.178701, -73.080937.

Narrated by Mr. Tom Ragusa, local historian and retired DCR, he is an Otis resident and Knox Trail expert, who has spent 12 years mapping the part of the 300-mile trail through Otis and Sandisfield.  Tom spent 42 years working for the Department of Conservation and Recreation before retiring

During the winter of 1775-1776 General George Washington held the high ground around Boston while the British were firmly in control of the city. If Washington had artillery, he could dislodge the British and retake Boston. The nearest available artillery was at Fort Ticonderoga, which was under Continental Army control, in up-state New York.

General Henry Knox then was commissioned, in December 1775, by General Washington to secure these artillery pieces and transport them from New York, through Massachusetts, to Dorchester Heights outside Boston. To do this General Knox successfully crossed the Berkshire Mountains and several large rivers, in winter, with fifty-nine pieces of artillery. When the artillery arrived in Boston, in early March 1776, General Howe realized the hopelessness of his position and evacuated the city. We will visit historic sites including:  The West Gate,  Webb cellar hole, 4th division line, Webb Sawmill, Knox Trail CCC roadway, Cleft in Twain Boulder, Whaples Tavern, Horse Paddock, 200+yr old Yellow Birch, The Gateway, Mysterious Stone Piles, The Monument of Stones, Many Cellar holes, Abiel’s Rock and more.

We will go back in time with Mr. Tom Ragusa in Otis to hike those same steps. Tom has spent 30 years working on achieving National Historic Designation for the Knox Trail.  This event is in collaboration with the National Parks Service, Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Learn more at Massachusetts (U.S. National Park Service) (    and  Springfield Armory National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service) (

Please Register per car load on Maps and bottled water provided.  Well behaved dogs allowed. Event is volunteer lead.  More details are on .  Please email [email protected] or call/text 413-302-0312 if you have any questions.  As always be prepared for rocks, mud and roots, bring hiking poles!

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For more hike information email: [email protected] or call/text 413-302-0312.   Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Meetup, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Threads and Twitter (X).  Tees, hoodies, hats, patches and photos will be for sale at the event.  Our free catalog of printed hiking maps will be there too.  See all our events, maps, blog and photos at Please keep our beautiful places clean and carry in and carry out. 

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Mission Statement: Western Mass Hilltown Hikers, Inc. is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to engage in all legal activities relating to the development, maintenance and operation of recreational hiking and outdoor adventure in Western Massachusetts.  We are a non-profit 501C(3) organization incorporated in the State of Massachusetts. Tax ID #86-2532245

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Liability Waiver: As a condition of your
voluntary participation in this activity, you
acknowledge and agree to the following: this
activity involves inherent risks that can cause
property damage, injury, illness, disability,
and/or death to participants and/or others;
you assume all risk associated with this
activity; you are responsible for having the
necessary knowledge, skills, abilities,
clothing, and equipment to safely participate
in this activity; you know and will follow the
Hiker Responsibility Code described at;.the leader(s) of this
activity are volunteers; and you for yourself,
your heirs, executors, and administrators
release, hold harmless, and indemnify the
leader(s) and all members of this group from
any and all claims for property damage,
injury, illness, disability, and/or death -
including those caused by negligence and/or
other reasons.



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