Hiking the Charcoal and Burbank Loop Trails at Yokun Ridge Reserve near Lenox, MA, USA

We wrapped up our time in Massachusetts with a hike on two trails, the Charcoal Trail (3.2 km, ascent/descent 160 m) and the Burbank Trail (5.5 km, ascent/descent 210 m, in the Yukon Ridge reserve near Lenox. I enjoyed hiking both of these trails. They were well maintained and well marked (brown signs with white lettering and blue blazes) with some pretty views and lovely forested terrain.

Detail Summary

Where:Charcoal and Burbank Loop Trails at Yokun Ridge South Reserve
Near Lenox, MA, USA
Car:Trail Head and parking at Olivia’s Overlook at the center of Yokun Ridge Reserve off of Lenox-Richmond Mountain Road.
GPS: 42.3519, -73.3377 
Driving directions available on the Berkshire Natural Resources Council Website.
What:Charcoal and Burbank Loop Trails at Yokun Ridge South Reserve

Trail Map and Guide
Brown signs with trail names and blue blazes
Skill:Charcoal Loop
Easy – About 1 hr
Length 3.2 km, Ascent 160 m, Descent 160 m

Burbank Loop
Easy – About 1 hrs 30 min
Length 5.5 km, Ascent 210 m, Descent 210 m

Getting There

Both trails start at Olivia’s Overlook at the center of Yokun Ridge Reserve off of Lenox-Richmond Mountain Road, where there is plenty of parking. This lovely overlook is named for Olivia Stokes Hatch.

We decided to start with the shorter trail, the Charcoal Loop.

The Charcoal Loop Trail

The Charcoal Loop starts directly from the parking lot at Olivia’s Overlook. We hiked it clockwise and began by heading downhill through the forest. The trail is named for the Charcoal mounds found along the way, but we must not have known what we were looking for as we didn’t see the mounds it was referring to. We did see some first signs of spring – a few blooming red trilliums and some fiddlehead ferns just beginning to poke up.

After the loop returned to the top of the ridge, we passed these two pretty vistas.

At just 3.2 km, this is a quick loop and so we were soon back at the parking lot.

We wanted to continue hiking, so we also decided to hike the Burbank Loop trail which also starts at Olivia’s Overlook.

The Burbank Loop Trail

The Burbank trail starts across the street from the parking lot. After crossing the street, we were in the forest and on our way.

After about a half kilometer, we left the access spur and came to the loop where we could head in the direction of the Vista or in the direction of Monk’s pond. We wanted to do most of the ascent at the beginning of the hike, so chose to head to the Vista first.

After the Vista, the trail descends through the forest and to a stream.

After following the stream, the trail comes to Monk’s pond. We spent a little time here admiring the reflections before we began the ascent back to the start of the loop.

After hiking through the forest, we were back to the beginning of the loop, where we simply followed the access spur back to Olivia’s Overlook and our car.

I took one more picture of the view at Olivia’s Overlook and then we headed out. I would definitely recommend these two trails if you are in the area.

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