The Little Known Cave In Massachusetts That Everyone Should Explore At Least Once

Hermit Cave Loop is a great trail that will take you to a little-known cave in Erving State Forest. This lightly-trafficked path is good for casual hikers, but you can take advantage of nearby trails if you want to make this expedition more of a challenge.

The cave is simple but beautiful. It’s nestled under an overhang in a massive cliff. The cave earned its enigmatic name because – you guessed it – a local hermit once called it home. John Smith was a Scottish native who immigrated in the mid 1800s. He lived in the cave from 1867 to 1899.

Today, you can easily hike to the remnants of John Smith’s cave homestead. The ruins of some stonework and gardens are still visible. And of course, exploring the cave itself is the real payoff.

The cave is best explored from April until November. It’s possible to visit in the winter and early spring, but conditions might be a bit more slippery and the foliage won’t be as impressive. Dogs are permitted to join in the fun as long as they’re kept on a leash.

You can find the cave from Orange center by going west on Main Street (Route 2A) for about 3.3 miles. Take a left on Route 2 and continue for about 2.1 miles until you see Mountain Road on your right. Turn onto Mountain Raod and drive for another 1.5 miles until you see a parking lot on your left. You’ll see the trailhead there.

Walk along the trail for about 1.5 miles until you see blue path markers. The southern part of the loop (marked with blue blazes) goes to Hermit Cave. You can also follow the rest of the trail (marked with white blazes) for some great views.

Please note: Hermit Cave is located in the Erving State Forest. Click here for directions. This spot shouldn’t be confused with Erving Cave in Connecticut.

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