Winding River Land Conservancy was part of a coalition that came together to preserve this beautiful place. Today, with a conservation restriction permanently protecting the land, Noble View welcomes birders, hikers and other outdoor lovers to enjoy its trails. Below is information from the Noble View website.
Noble View's 358.5 acres of rural solitude maintain the ambiance of the original 1800s New England farmstead. A quiet, pristine mountaintop location offers breathtaking views of the Pioneer Valley east to Mount Wachusett. Beautiful trails wind through woodlands and abandoned farm fields, passing brooks, stone walls, cellar holes, and diverse habitats including an old growth hemlock stand.
1.5 hrs. 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”.
The Knittel Conservation Area in Blandford is a 254-acre tract comprised of fields, forest and the lovely Falls Brook. Several trails wind through the property, encouraging visitors to explore the woods and fields. A recent trail is named Sally’s Trail, to honor Blandford resident Sarah Robbins’ generous posthumous donation to the Winding River Land Conservancy in recognition of its efforts to save land in the region, especially the Knittel Conservation Area.
The conservation area will also help protect the water supply of 250,000 people and preserve the rural setting for a working farm. Located at the end of Herrick Road, the parcel has been home to the Herrick family farm for generations. The area feeds the Cobble Mountain Reservoir, which serves as the drinking water supply for Springfield, Ludlow, Agawam, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, and parts of Southwick and Westfield.
Saving such a large tract of valuable land was a multiparty effort. Guided by Rosemary Arnold of the Blandford Conservation Commission (now president of the Winding River Land Conservancy’s board of directors) and Mark Noonan of the Winding River Land Conservancy, the land was first purchased by Winding River, who in turn sold it to Blandford through the town’s Conservation Commission, who then sold a conservation restriction to SWSC. Winding River Land Conservancy is a co-holder of the conservation restriction and shares stewardship duties with SWSC. Although complicated, the transaction was a good example of the cooperation that can occur to safeguard an important resource.