Suggested Walks

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Pitcher Brook - Laurel Lane Circuit

1½ hours at a moderate pace

On the Noble View entrance road, a short distance from the farmhouse, at the west end of the large gravel parking lot, is a sign indicating the beginning of the Pitcher Brook Trail.

Pitcher Brook Trail passes through pleasant woods with laurel and blueberries in season, crosses Ann’s Trail, then the Border Trail and descends to the gorge of Pitcher Brook with its swift water, deep pools and two waterfalls called “Big Pitcher” and “Little Pitcher”. In spots the going is a little rough, but not difficult except when icy in winter.

Leaving the brook, the trail climbs mildly to a junction with Laurel Lane Trail which can be followed back to the farmhouse, passing on the right Charcoal Kiln Trail, County Road Trail, Border Trail and Dam Brook Trail, in that order.

Laurel Lane is wide and runs through mature forest. The footing in places is sometimes muddy, Be alert for the “Dry Trail”, which is west of and parallel to Laurel Lane between the Loop Trail and the entry road.

For those who are interested in the history of days long gone, this hike offers an opportunity to view two old cellar holes. On the left (northwest) of Laurel Lane, before reaching Charcoal Kiln Trail, you will pass a site known as the Pendleton-Snow Place. An atlas of Hampden County shows buildings standing at this site in 1912. There are two wells to search for, one near the house site and one on the opposite side of Laurel Lane where presumably the old barn stood.

Continuing north on Laurel Lane back toward the farmhouse, shortly after passing County Road Trail on the right, and before reaching the Border Trail, there is a large and very old foundation and well on the left (west) of Laurel Lane. The names of the occupants of the house which stood here have not been definitely determined, but the place is supposed to have been the homestead of a family named Ashley.

Water Hole Circuit

½ hour at a moderate pace

From the farmhouse go down Laurel Lane Trail to the beginning of the Dam Brook Trail on the left (east). The Dam Brook Trail leads to a pond from which ice was formerly harvested. The dam is unsafe to cross - cross the brook below the dam on the Dam Brook Trail, and then immediately turn left (north) on the trail which leads upward moderately to connect with Link Trail. Turn left (north) here and follow the Link Trail past the Woodland Trail and the Loop Trail (on your right) until you reach Saunders Corner fireplace, and the field that is south of the double cottage and east of the farmhouse.

Spring Trail – Woodland Trail Circuit

1 hour at a moderate pace

The Spring Trail begins at a sign at the southeast corner of the field in front (east) of the double cottage. As you walk downhill on the south edge of the field to reach the Spring Trail, you’ll see trees growing around and in an old cellar hole known as the Gowdy Place, which was purchased by Albert Noble (for whom Noble View is named) in 1835.

From the southeast corner of the field, at a junction with the Circuit Loop, the Spring Trail goes downhill to end at the Border Trail, passing on the way a huge birch tree about six feet in circumference. To the left (east), near the start of the trail, you can visit the covered spring that used to supply water, using a pump, to the sinks at the cottages.

Turn right (south) on the Border Trail and follow its ups and downs along the side of the hill to the junction with the Woodland Trail. Turn right (west) on the Woodland Trail and climb moderately through interesting forest. You will eventually come out on the Link Trail. Turn right (north) on the Link Trail and pass the Ski Trail and Saunders Corner fireplace on your way back to the buildings at Noble View.

Malcolm B. Ross Forest Memorial Forest Circuit

An easy 50 minute walk

From the Gantt Memorial Fireplace (note the engraved inscription on the granite block) north of the double cottage, follow the white-blazed trail along the left (west) edge of the cleared area north down the hill a short distance to the Border Trail. Turn left (west) here and stay on the Border Trail until it reaches the Entrance Road near South Quarter Road.

Walk up the Noble View Entrance Road to the gate, pass through and turn left on the Mac Ross Trail (sign). Stay on the Mac Ross Trail until you return to the cottages. You will pass on the right (south) the Outpost Campground, developed primarily for youngsters by a devoted Chapter member, Frank A. Mann, now deceased. Just beyond the campground on the left (noth) of the Mac Ross Trail a spring will be seen, and shortly before reaching the cottages you will pass on the left (north) the unique Malcolm B. Ross Memorial with bronze plaque.

Malcolm B. Ross was an active member of Berkshire Chapter for nearly 25 years. He served as Chapter Chairman and twice as Noble View Chairman, and also served as Chairman of the AMC Chapters Committee. The land that constitutes the Malcolm B. Ross Memorial Forest was purchased and added to Noble View in 1958. It measures roughly 600 ft. by 2700 ft. and contains over 30 acres.

 

Charcoal Kiln Trail to Lookout and The Ledges

About 2½-4 hours at a moderate pace

From the farmhouse, go down (south) on Laurel Lane Trail, pass Ann's Trail on right (W) and Dam Brook Trail on left (east), cross Border Trail, pass County Road Trail on left (east) and then turn left (east) on Charcoal Kiln Trail.

Some distance along the Charcoal Kiln Trail there is a sign on the right marking a side trail to the Lookout. This is a rocky outcropping with a view high above Little River Gorge. The large standpipe in the western view is the surge tank for the hydro-electric plant operated by water released from Cobble Mountain Reservoir.

After admiring the view, retrace your steps to Charcoal Kiln Trail and turn right (east) and continue to the junction with Dry Ridge Trail on the right (south). The Ledges are another rocky outcropping above Little River Gorge, with good views including a view of "980", the steep hill on the other side of the river. Your walk to this point probably took about 40 minutes, and it will take about the same time to return to Noble View by the same route.

From the Ledges you may continue downhill on Charcoal Kiln Trail to the old brick kiln used to make charcoal many years ago and return to Noble View by the steep Dam Brook Trail; or you may stay on Charcoal Kiln Trail until it reaches County Road Trail and then return to Noble View by the River Trail. Any of these alternate routes will, of course, require additional time.

Other Suggestions

With the aid of the Noble View trail map and the appropriate USGS topographic map, you can figure out a number of interesting and challenging hikes from Noble View, in addition to those described here.

For example, you might make the complete circuit of the Border Trail in either direction. It's rough and strenuous in some sections, especially ascending west from of Sodom Brook, along the north border of the Noble View property. You will note that this section of the trail is not shown on the Noble View Trails map.

Recommended hikes in the area include the Keystone Arches Bridges Trail, Sanderson Brook Falls, and Chesterfield Gorge.

In planning any hikes at Noble View, remember that the farther you get from the Double Cottage, the more climbing you are likely to have to do to get back.

© Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved. The Appalachian Mountain Club • Noble View Outdoor Center • 635 South Quarter Road, Russell, Massachusetts 01071 :: Updated 6.10.16