Friday, July 15, 2011

Rustic Appalachian Mountain Club Facility Goes Green - and Accessible!

The modernized accessible bath house at Noble View.
I've been hearing about Noble View for years now. It is an 350+ acre outdoor center in the Berkshires that is surrounded by 117,000 more acres of forest, rivers, and rural solitude reminiscent of times gone by. Situated high on a hillside in Russell, MA with breathtaking views of the Pioneer Valley, Noble View is owned by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and managed by volunteers. I just found out that an 8 year accessibility project has recently been completed, making Noble View an exciting new option for outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities.

Two cottages and a bath house have been upgraded to make them ADA accessible and feature green technologies. A farmhouse and campsites are also available. Hiking, nature study, and winter activities are some of the activities enjoyed on 34 miles of trails. Keep in mind that staff are on site only for scheduled events - otherwise it is self service. It sounds like a great place to go if you are independent or with a group. I think you probably need your own recreational equipment.

Outdoor Explorations, a Medford-based accessible recreation organization, uses Noble View for their outdoor programs. "Noble View is one of the few places in Massachusetts that can fully accommodate our outdoor trips for significantly disabled children and adults, so when we use Noble View, accessible outdoor recreation and lodging is never a worry," said Merri Pearson, Executive Director of Outdoor Explorations, a nonprofit offering outdoor activities to people of all abilities. "We've greatly enjoyed our trips there and our participants love to go snowshoeing, sledding, hiking, and kayaking in the nearby areas. Plus Noble View's green features are perfect for helping to support our teaching of environmental stewardship principles."

For information about Noble View, including a trail map, suggested hikes and walks, and area attractions, visit For reservations, contact the registrar at 413-572-4501 or email

I have to make my way to Noble View!! If you get there before me, let me know how you like it!

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