Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A visit to Noble View Outdoor Center

Taking the advice of friends I set out to Russell to visit Noble View, which is part of the Appalachian Mountain Club. The mountaintop, around 1,100 ft., boasts great views of the Pioneer Valley east to Mount Wachusett. The trails are very well marked and pass through several abandoned farm fields. There are also gurgling brooks, old cellar holes and stonewalls along the way. Camping is available and there are also modernized cottages for rent.

There are several cottages available. All with great views of the Valley.

Have a rest on an old tractor seat.

Hazy view of downtown Springfield.

North cottage.

Bath house.

Water pump outside Albert Noble house.

Looks like some old stove parts.

I started out down Laurel Lane on the way down to Pitcher Brook.

Trails are nicely marked. Maps are available.

Ashley Cellar Hole.

Decided to take a left, cross the brook and head around Border trail.

Vernal pool.

Lots of leaves made the trail hard to see. But the route was easy to navigate by following the yellow marks.

By checking the map I could see Spring Trail would take me right back up to Noble View. It was only 1/3 of a mile, but a challenging climb.

Finally! Made it to the top.

Entrance to Spring Trail.

Gowdy Cellar Hole.

View to the east toward Springfield.

The cottages.

Albert Noble House built in 1831.

A tired, hungry hiker! Maybe I'll come to snowshoe later this winter. And camp in the spring.

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