The William Cullen Bryant Homestead

Nov 3 2008
bryant-barn

Barn for storing apples and pears, built in the 1870's

The William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington (one of the hilltowns) is maintained by the Trustees of Reservations. From Route 9, turn onto Route 112 South to Bryant Road. Parking, picnic tables and seasonal visitor center, gift shop and restrooms. The grounds are open year-round during the day and admission is free. There are guided tours of the house on select days or by special arrangement, and there are several special events held on the grounds or in the barn; see the Trustees of Reservations website for more information.

The main house was closed the day I visited, but I spent an enjoyable few hours walking the grounds. There is a large meadow with nice views which I suspect is a good birdwatching area. Down the road from the house and barn is the entrance to the Rivulet Trail, which features the famous rivulet, immortalized in Bryant’s 1823 poem. The trail follows the path of the rivulet, a small stream which cascades over rocks and into pools and wanders through an old-growth white pine forest.

bryant-glade

Woodlands glade viewed from Bryant Road

bryant-downed-tree

Downed tree on the Rivulet Trail

Most of the grounds and meadow areas were reached by relatively flat paved or gravel walkways, and would be suitable for visitors with limited mobility. The rivelet trail is a short hike, not a walk, and requires reasonable balance and stamina. I recommend boots, not sneakers, for this trail as portions are damp and much of the route is humpy with tree roots, which can be very hard on the feet in softer-soled shoes.

The Homestead is only a few miles from the Creamery, so quite a good picnic destination. Stock up on comestibles at the Creamery, then spread a blanket on the edge of the meadow at the Homestead and enjoy the day.

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