cfl 2018 01 19 013 WebR

 Friends of the Charity Farm Lot

       In 1832, Job Goodale gifted the Charity Farm Lot to the Town of Bernardston, Massachusetts, as a source of income to "assist the industrious and deserving poor."
     Since then, this 84.64-acre site, which includes open space, a variety of natural features, and a trace of history, had been largely ignored. More recently, however, a group of local residents and town leaders have come to recognize the Charity Farm Lot as a gem worthy of renewed focus as part of a larger plan that recognizes the many benefits that well-preserved open space has to offer: health, recreation, community pride, and a boost to the town's economy.
     Friends of the Charity Farm Lot is an intergenerational group of people interested in a unique parcel of open space. We are a recognized committee of the Bernardston Selectboard.
    We hope that you will continue to visit our page to find out more about what the Charity Farm Lot can offer you and you family. We also invite you to consider ways that you might become involved in  its restoration and use.

                 Email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

               Find us on Facebook: 

               Friends of the Charity Farm Lot:

                       John Lepore: (413) 512-0644

                       Bill Montiglio (413) 824-1004

                       Andrew Girard





Hunting Season at the Charity Farm Lot

An underlying principle of the Charity Farm Lot is to provide visitors of all ages and a variety of interests with a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience close to home.

Hunting is one such interest, and we encourage all of our visitors to take common-sense precautions and to treat one another with consideration and respect during hunting season.

There are several stands and blinds, similar to what a hunter would use, located throughout the property. Some of these appear to be maintained. Others appear to be abandoned. There are laws related to the use of tree stands by hunters on public lands and private land they do not own.

In particular, there are two metal, ladder-type stands that were no longer safely attached to trees, thus posing a hazard. Trying to be fair to all concerned, they have been taken down, with the components left on the ground for the time being at their original locations.

If any of these are yours, fixed or portable, we ask that you contact us (GPS coordinates are a real plus.) so we can determine their status and discuss the best course of action.

Enjoy and stay safe!


 2018 08 25 001

 The changing of the seasons is a great time to enjoy the beauty and solace of nature. To help you enjoy your next Charity Farm Lot visit, we have given the parking lot a good going over. There's space for about six vehicles, possibly more if a group enters and leaves at the same time. Enjoy!




Invasion of the Invasive Snatchers

                                                                                                                                      2018 04 14 cfl work party 002 framed                                                                                                        

Besides giving our April 14 restorative work party a cool name, Jean Page busted her behind and even served us cookies when we finished. In this photo, Jean and John begin to work their magic on an invasive barberry. Thanks a million, Jean!



2018 04 07 cfl hike 003 3

 Many thanks to Mary Bancroft and Joanne Brown for joining us on our first organized tour on April 7.                                  Photo by Kathy Montiglio




For the First-time visitor:

The Charity Farm Lot is located at 327 Bald Mountain Road, Bernardston, MA. Please note, however, that setting electronic navigation software may only put you in the general vicinity. The property is 0.4 miles north of the intersection of Bald Mountain and Burke Flat roads and marked with a large wooden sign. There is off-road parking for several vehicles.


facebook website version cfl map framed 

Please click here for downloadable/printable trail map 


View our short video, "Finding Your Way Around the Charity Farm Lot":


Seen along the Talus Trail:

                                       2018 02 09 cfl 001       2018 02 09 cfl 002                                                                                                  



Trail Report

As of 11/28/2018:

Things have been wetter than normal, and, of course, the Charity Farm Lot is no exception. The parking lot is clear and usable, but there are some soft spots on the ground. Please be aware that hunting season continues. Some of us are wearing orange when we're on the property.

While the trails are passable, waterproof footwear is recommended. We are working on a plan to remediate the water found on several sections, and this time of year provides a good indication of the work that is needed. 

Trails are marked with colored tags nailed to trees. You can generally stand in the vicinity of one tag and see the next one. Please note that double tags indicate a turn in the trail. The lower of the two tags indicates the direction to turn. One ambiguous spot on the Talus Trail has a new sign that indicates an important turn.

Please be aware that marked trails sometimes deviate away from wider sections in order to bring you to good things to see.

Remember that, if ever in doubt, the noise of Route 91 will lead you downhill to Bald Mountain Road.

The Road Trail, which begins at the northeast corner of the Parking Lot has been completely marked with pink tags. It is a straight-line trail that runs from our western border uphill to the eastern border. The eastern border is marked with a tree that has two pink tags and a red blaze on the trunk. (Photo below) If you walk this trail, you will see our most serious erosion, which we hope to remediate.

The Talus Trail, which begins at the southeast corner of the Parking Lot has been marked with green tags. It extends to where it connects with the Road Trail near the Charity Farm Lot’s eastern border.

The Vista View Trail is a loop marked with orange tags. Visitors will find a great view near its midpoint. It has two trailheads, about two-tenths of a mile from one another on the north side of the Road Trail (left side looking uphill). The upper trailhead is a stone’s throw from our eastern border and the Talus Trail head.

Have fun, be safe!




 2018 01 27 cfs trail marker and misc 014


  The eastern border at the end of the Road Trail

Erosion and invasive species

     Erosion and invasive plant species pose the greatest environmental risks to the Charity Farm Lot and the surrounding ecosystem. Key areas have been identified, and work parties have begun to help with remediation of invasives. A grant application has been submitted to help fund repairs to problem areas that are beyond the scope of a volunteer effort. 

 Watch our two-minute video on erosion at the Charity Farm Lot: