The Roberts Hill Loop Trail at the Saw Mill Hills Conservation Area in Leeds, Massachusetts is a moderate 1.8 mile trail with a westward-facing view from the top of one of the hills.
The Roberts Hill section of Saw Mill Hills has a large network of trails used by hikers and mountain bikers alike. This northern most parcel of Roberts Hill has a multi-colored trail network. A highlight here is a westward-facing view from the open hilltop where the blue- and red-blazed trails meet.
Route: Begin this 2-mile clockwise loop walk by going slightly uphill on the old woods road, which has historic significance—it was a stagecoach route to Albany in the early 1800s. Continue straight onto the orange-blazed trail, which soon overlaps with the blue-blazed trail. Following the orange blazes, the trail takes a sharp right turn leading away from neighboring private property. Bear left at the intersection with a rock outcropping on the right. After passing an old foundation on the right, the trail veers left and downhill, where it crosses the green-blazed trail. This gently inclining stretch of the orange-blazed trail is a former power line path where pole stumps can be seen in the shrubbery. For a long stretch, the trail passes through stands of young trees. Roberts Meadow Pond begins to come into view below (especially during the fall and winter months). A mossy rock to the right of a hemlock tree provides a look out point. Continue on this section of trail through new growth forest until you reach a rock-strewn intersection where the red-blazed trail comes in. Follow orange-red blazes for a short distance until the orange trail dips sharply to the left. Now, on the red-blazed trail, a gentle ascent begins. Pass a rock wall on the right as the trail hugs the hillside with the pond more visible below. Turning away from the pond, the trail slowly sweeps right and up to join the blue-blazed trail. Go right and follow the blue blazes noting the shrubby understory. The trail gets a bit steeper until you reach the top of Roberts Hill where a rocky lookout provides impressive views to the west. Return to the blue-blazed trail, which begins to descend. Look for numerous oak species, including chestnut, red, white, black, and scarlet. Pass through a peaceful hemlock grove, then turn left at the intersection with the green-blazed trail. Stay to the left, following the green blazes. The Mill River is ahead and below as you turn left and return to the orange blazed trail back to the trailhead.Partner: This trail was submitted by our partner, Kestrel Land Trust. Kestrel Land Trust partners with the City of Northampton and friends groups to create, conserve, and care for public lands to help everyone connect with nature. The conservation lands here are owned by the City of Northampton and portions are monitored by Kestrel through a Conservation Restriction. The Leeds Civic Association and the Friends of Saw Mill Hills help maintain the trail.
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