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 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

                       Kathy Montiglio (413) 772-9103


Fall Update: Foliage and Hunting Seasons

September 28 is designated as Youth Deer Day in Massachusetts, and we may have hunters on the property. Regular hunting season follows closely behind. We wish to remind all our visitors that hunters are welcome at the Charity Farm Lot, and all of us, hunters and non-hunters alike, should stay aware of one another and use good judgement and common courtesy.

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With help of a state grant and a professional contractor, we have begun erosion remediation along a portion of the View Trail. To catch the erosion at an early stage, the trail bed was widened, ruts have been filled in, and important water diversions have been installed.

Although erosion remediation along the Main Trail will have to wait for a second grant, outflow at the base of its long, deep trench has been diverted. Combined, these measures are expected to eliminate the large puddle/ice sheet that can pose seasonal hazards at a key trail intersection.

Trail maintenance is, by nature, a work in progress. Our volunteers will take it from here with a little help from Mother Nature, whose falling leaves will dress things up a little.

Meanwhile, we've installed color-coded trail markers with arrows to offer a better sense of direction. Main Trail is marked in red. Talus Trail is marked in green. View Trail is marked in orange.

Stop by soon and check out Charity Farm Lot's snazzy fall wardrobe.

Photos: work in progress and one of our new signs




Invasion of the Invasive Snatchers

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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!



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 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:

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Trail Report

As of 9/1/2019:

Trails are marked with colored, metal disks with arrows 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. 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 red markers. 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 in the future.

The Talus Trail, which begins at the southeast corner of the Parking Lot has been marked with green disks. 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 disks. 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!




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  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 help with trail maintenance and remediation of invasives, which are ongoing efforts.  A portion of our state trails grant has funded remediation that required professional assistance. 

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