Hiking Northborough,Massachusetts, Conservation Lands: Mt. Pisgah

Smith Road Parking Area, beginning of the Mentzer Trail.
Smith Road Parking Area, beginning of the Mentzer Trail.

Mt. Pisgah Conservation Area is located in northern central Massachusetts near Berlin and Northborough. The area offers easy to moderate hiking through open hardwood and softwood forest, making for a pleasant morning or afternoon in communion with nature. The woods is quiet and clean and the trails are well marked and maintained.


Take Exit 26 off Interstate 495 to Rt. 62 west. Continue through Berlin center. Turn left on Linden Street. After the intersection of Derby you will see a small, unmarked parking area on your left. Or continue up Linden and turn left on Ball Hill Road and follow it for 1.6 miles as Ball Hill Road becomes Smith Road. Look for a parking area on your left with a stand containing trail maps.

One of the Views, North or South.  Not sure which this is.
One of the Views, North or South. Not sure which this is.
Some of the woods there.
Some of the woods there.

Trails and Overlooks

The area features two overlooks from ledges that offer views of the valley below. Both overlooks have pretty much the same view, but it is nice to visit them anyway. They are called the North View and the South View for obvious regions.

The Mentzer Trail climbs very gradually a few hundred feet to the top of the ridge intersecting other trails on the way. Once at the top of the ridge, the hiker can turn left and go north a short way up the North Overlook Trail to take advantage of - you guessed it - the North View. Reverse direction and go south down the Tyler Trail to reach the unmarked summit of Mount Pisgah (no view there) and continue south on that same trail to the end, about three quarters of a mile, to reach the South View.

From the South View, if you feel you have exhausted your possibilities here, you can backtrack up the Tyler Trail north, turn left on the Sparrow trial, follow it westward to the Mentzer trail and hence back to the car. Or you could take the South Overlook Trail south into the Massachusetts Wildlife Management part of the area.

The Wildlife Management Area offers several short, winding trails that explore vernal pools, gorges, and the stream that runs through the area, Howard Brook.

If you would like a bit challenging, though not too long of a climb, head north directly from the South View up the Sparrow Trail. This climbs a few hundred feet in a fairly short distance so affords a bit of respectable exercise out of the day if you are looking for it.

Otherwise the place is pretty flat and offers easy walks in an attractive forest of varying lengths.


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Comments 9 comments

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Obviously I am not about to take this hike, but reading your description got me all excited to get back to Steamboat where my husband and I are discovering trails via a hiking book we purchased last summer. Thanks for the inspiration, Tom!

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Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Definitely take advantage of the beautiful hikes where you are.

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blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Tom I made you a movie star for Cindy's birthday come have a look at your acting skills ROFL http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/14999?page=2#post1...

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Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

I'm sure I'm quite debonair. Ha.

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Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Seems like a beautiful and redeeming place to visit. But it would seem that in nature, insects and the lot, do not get along.

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Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

The woods is a great place to get philosophical, AIDY. Even the trees are killing each other for the right to live, yet the peace is palpable and deep.

eric amidon 6 years ago

I have hiked this trail numerous times and its nice. There are many interesting things to explore and the north and south lookout points, if seen at night, is amazing. I have found the very beginings of tiny spring fed brooks up in these hills and there is quite the variety of wildlife. I acutally found moose footprints at the start of a tiny stream that trickled out of a hill deep in the woods. I have also heard of black bear sightings.

Kate 4 years ago

This place is so peaceful - every trail offers a variety of things to see and terrain to achieve a good workout. I think Robin Hood finds sanctuary on Howard Brook Trail. The 'Blue Trail' coming in from Linden St offers a wide variety - steep and lengthy (coming out on North View) - has a pond to weave around, rivers to cross, mossy rocks, shady paths - and when arriving at the top, North View, quite the scenery. Not all trails are on maps but if you're adventurous you could hike/bike out there for hours. This place is God-sent! Thank you for a slice of heaven.

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Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Great place for trail running, too, I would think. Thanks, Kate!

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