Hiking Northborough,Massachusetts, Conservation Lands: Mt. Pisgah
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.
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.