Becket Land Trust Historic Quarry, Becket

3.8
#37 of 49 in Parks in Berkshires
Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Becket Land Trust is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization which owns and operates the Becket Land Trust Historic Quarry and Forest.

It was founded by a group of citizens concerned about protecting the Town of Becket's rural character, natural resources and ecologically sensitive areas.

The Historic Quarry and Forest was the result of an extraordinary community fund-raising campaign to save a 300+ acre parcel of primarily wooded land from industrial development. To prevent detrimental impact on the site and the community, local citizens donated money to enable the Becket Land Trust to purchase the property and open the site to the public for recreational enjoyment.

Thanks to a wonderful group of volunteers, all trails have been cleared and reblazed. We invite you to visit the quarry and hike the trails.

HISTORY: The Becket Land Trust was founded in 1991 by a group of concerned citizens who were interested in maintaining the rural nature of the Town of Becket and of preserving its natural resources.

In 1999 The Labrie Stone Products proposed purchasing an abandoned quarry in the southern part of town and reopening the granite quarry. Citizens of Becket, desiring to avoid the noise and activity of an active quarry purchased the land and donated it to the Land Trust.

The former Hudson-Chester Quarry was once one of the largest of several in the area, extracting granite and shipping it by railroad for polishing to nearby Chester and Hudson, N.Y. Gravestones and monuments were the main products.

The quarry opened in the 1850's and closed in the 1960's. It is one of the most intact historic quarry landscapes in Massachusetts, with a blacksmith shop, standing derrick, and experimental air-drill testing tunnel.

Tucked between Becket's forests and hills, the old granite quarry sits like a sunken vessel, a living museum with rusted artifacts left behind when the Hudson-Chester Granite Company suddenly folded.

When it was abandoned it was as if the men just walked away for lunch and never came back, and that's what makes it a wonderful museum. There are trucks, drills, and derricks (booms to hoist granite) throughout the site. Apparently mismanagement and lack of money for necessary improvements led to the abandonment.

"I have visited a lot of extractive industrial sites. The Becket Quarry stands out in my mind as probably the best granite quarry I have seen in Massachusetts . It is large enough to be very impressive, but small enough so that its operations and technology are clearly visible in the landscape and artifacts. It is also in a remarkable natural setting with spectacular views and abundant wildlife."

Matt Kierstead,

Practicing Industrial Archaeologist
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Becket Land Trust Historic Quarry reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
23 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • We went here during a recent visit to Lenox, MA. The trails are excellent and there are so many abandoned items from when the quarry was open. There are plaques with information and trail maps...  more »
  • Take a leisurely walk through a Granite quarry where time stands still. This abandoned quarry is full of relics including, Derricks. Winches, cables, cars, buildings, a demo shack and more! In...  more »
Google
  • Great place to visit. During the main season, parking and entry fees are charged. People come from all over to hike the well-maintained trails and see the quarry! Local kids come here to swim and cliff jump in the summer. A neat park to frequent. Whenever guests from out of town are visiting, I bring them here and it never disappoints!!
  • Great swimming. I don't jump, but others enjoy it. I like the trails too.

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