Renowned for its Nordic skiing, Notchview also entices year-round adventurers for hiking and birdwatching.
What makes Notchview a special place?
With more than 3,000 acres of rolling terrain, Notchview offers an idyllic escape for winter sport enthusiasts, especially cross-country skiers looking for a brisk outing. Seventeen kilometers of trails are groomed and track-set for classical cross-country skiing; eight kilometers are groomed for skate skiing. A separate trail system is groomed for “skijoring,” or skiing with dogs. You can also go off track and explore the backcountry, or snowshoe alongside the ski trails.
Notchview is a part of the Hoosac Range, an extension of Vermont’s Green Mountains. Much of the reservation is above 2,000 feet, with Judge’s Hill the highest point at 2,297 feet – which results in snow on our trails for more than 80 days each year.
Although some fields are kept open, most of the reservation is covered with a red spruce and northern hardwood forest. Poorly drained areas support a spruce and fir forest that lends a boreal appearance. The landscape has been influenced by years of timber, fuelwood, and charcoal production. The fields and forests are home to many wild species. Look for tracks of deer, moose, and snowshoe hare as you ski along. Chickadees, barred owls, and pileated woodpeckers live in the forest year-round.
Hiking: 25 miles of trails.
Nordic Skiing: 40 kilometers (25 miles) of cross-country ski trails:
- classic skiing groomed: 16km
- skate skiing ungroomed: 11 km
- ungroomed trails: 11 km
- dog loop: 2 km
- snowshoers: alongside any ski trails
By Skill Level:
- 7 beginner trails: 11 km
- 11 intermediate trails: 18 km
- 7 expert trails: 11 km
Notchview is adjacent to Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts (S.A.M.) Route 91 that links snowmobile trails from CT to VT.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 3 hours. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing available early December to early April, daily, 8AM to 4:30PM.
In winter, warm up in the Budd Visitor Center, featuring a masonry heater with toasty soapstone seats, a waxing area, and a stunning view of our woods and fields. Take an energy break with hot drinks and snacks. Along the trail, two Adirondack shelters offer skiers a chance to sit and admire the landscape. Public restrooms (open year-round). Picnic tables.
Regulations & Advisories
2013–14 Ski Passes
Buy your Notchview Season Ski Pass online now.
New this season: Ski and snowshoe rentals!
For ski conditions, visit www.xcskimass.com or telephone 413.684.0148 for the Notchview conditions daily recording. For weather conditions, view the www.wunderground.com web site.
Notchview is owned by The Trustees of Reservations and is open from dawn till dusk. Budd Visitor Center is staffed on weekends and most afternoons. Our volunteer ski patrol is certified by the National Ski Patrol. On ski race days, trails not being used by racers are open to the public. Races generally end around noon.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
- Mountain biking is allowed only on town gravel roads within the Reservation.
- Seasonal hunting is permitted.
- Notchview is large and has a complex system of trails; please carry a trail map and sign in at the Visitor Center.
Rules for Skiing at Notchview Reservation
- Classical Skiers: All trails, whether groomed with tracks or smoothed for skating, are open to classical skiers.
- Skate Skiers: Please use the trails designated and marked as skating trails. Skating over prepared tracks ruins the skiing for others.
- Snowshoers: Please keep to the side of the ski trails. Walking on the groomed ski tracks ruins the skiing.
- Dog Owners: Skiing with dogs is allowed only in the area south of Route 9.
- Everyone: Return to the Visitor Center before dusk
- Care for your feet. Avoid blisters and cold feet – wear well-fitting, waterproof boots. Avoid too many layers of socks, which can impede circulation.
- Watch the weather. Temperatures drop quickly after sunset. Be aware of the wind chill factor.
- Dress for winter. Wear layers that can be added or removed –a base layer to wick moisture from your body; a warm middle layer; and an outer layer that is wind and water resistant.
- Carry a daypack. Include a space blanket, first aid kit, matches, pocketknife, whistle, map, extra clothing, and water.
- Stay hydrated. Do not drink from the streams; potable water is available at the Budd Visitor Center.
- Know where you're going. Study the map and determine a route. Landmarks can be deceiving. Sign in at the Visitor Center. If you get lost, stay on the trail, if possible, or follow a stream downhill to a road. Route 9 is very noisy, so listen for trucks, and there are houses at the ends of Shaw and Bates Roads. After dark, seek shelter and stay put.
- Avoid skiing alone.
When to Visit
Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Given size of reservation, allow a minimum of 3 hours. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing available early December to early April, daily, 8AM to 4:30PM.
General admission (off-season): Members: FREE. Nonmembers: Adult $2, Child (12 and under) FREE.
Get details and pricing for 2013-14 here >>
Winding stone walls and lonely cellar holes tell tales of the hope and disappointment that European settlers dealt with as they cleared this rugged upland to farm during the early 19th century. Rocky soils and a short growing season ultimately discouraged efforts to cultivate these lands, and by 1900, the farms within Notchview were consolidated into larger estates.
Lt. Col. Arthur D. Budd merged these holdings into the 3,000-acre Notch View Farm, which he bequeathed to The Trustees of Reservations in 1965. The 93-acre Smithers Woodland Preserve was added to the Reservation in 1993. Although some fields remain open, most of the Reservation is forested with red spruce and northern hardwoods, a landscape shaped by years of timber, firewood, and charcoal production.
Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a bequest, with endowment, of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur D. Budd in 1965. Additional land given by F. Sydney and Rosamond J. Smithers in 1993.
Self-guided tour (1 hour) of forest management practices on the Hume Brook Interpretive Trail. Ask for a trail guide at the visitor center.
For events and activities, check our events calendar.
Conservation and Stewardship
Management Planning for Our Properties
Since 1891, The Trustees of Reservations have worked to protect special places in Massachusetts and maintain them to the highest standards. To ensure these standards are met, a program of careful planning and sound management is essential. Comprehensive property management plans are created for each reservation and are completely updated approximately every ten years. We often work with volunteers, property users, and members of the community to carry out this planning, which typically involves several steps:
- Describing in detail the site’s natural, scenic, and historical resources; identifying management issues related to the protection of those resources.
- Describing how visitors use the property; outlining the opportunities that the property provides for people to become involved in the work of conservation and caring for their community.
- Developing a detailed list of management recommendations, a work plan, and a description of financial needs for implementing the actions.
- Developing a prescribed routine management program for the reservation that will guide staff work plans, volunteer involvement, and the allocation of human and financial resources.
View Notchview management plan (Part 1).
View Notchview management plan (Part 2).
Maps and Resources
Printed trail maps are distributed free from the visitor center and bulletin board outside the visitor center. One map is for hiking (spring, summer, fall) and the other is for cross-country skiing, ski skating, and snow shoeing (winter). Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you visit.
Rental equipment & lessons
Snowshoe rentals are available from the Visitor Center. Rent Nordic skis from your local ski shop before you come to Notchview. For information about lessons, call 413.684.0148 or email Notchview.
New to Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing?
Check out information on etiquette, rules, and winter tips.
For the latest on what is going on at Notchview – ski information, ecology, personal experiences, and more – visit our blog, Notchview Notes.
Notchview is a spectacular setting for your wedding. We can accommodate outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions for groups of up to 400 people. Please call 413.532.1631 x13 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Planning Your Visit
Notchview is a large reservation – to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit, please:
- Know where you are going and avoid hiking alone. Take the time to study the map and determine a route. Much of Notchview is gently rolling, so landmarks can be deceiving. Sign in at the Visitor Center so we know who you are. If you get lost, there are houses at the ends of Shaw and Bates Roads; stay on the trail if possible, or follow a stream downhill to a road. After dark, seek shelter and stay put; people will come looking for you.
- Take care of your feet. A well-fitting pair of hiking or ski boots will keep your feet (and you) happier throughout the day. Even in the driest summer months, Notchview's trails can be wet, so hiking with sneakers is not advised.
- Be aware of the weather. Skiers know that Notchview gets more snow than the valley towns (an average 45" more snow each year than neighboring Dalton). The average temperature is 10 degrees colder than the valleys, and temperatures tend to drop quickly after sunset. Frosts can be expected in June and August. So, dress appropriately by bring layers of clothing in the winter months and, at minimum, a windbreaker or sweater in the summer.
- Carry a day pack. A soft day pack is a convenient way to carry a lunch, water, and extra clothing while keeping your hands free.
- Drink water. Avoid the risk of dehydration. In all seasons, a well hydrated body functions more comfortably. Do not drink from the streams; potable water is available in the Visitor Center.
Food and lodging
Ski for a weekend! Neighboring bed & breakfasts offer warm Berkshires hospitality. Local bed & breakfasts are listed at www.hhbba.com. At Notchview, you can bring your own lunch since there is no cafeteria, or stop in at a hill town restaurant or grocery shop for a picnic lunch or a hot meal.
Hidden Hills of Western MA
Hilltowns of Western MA
Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.
Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:
- Protect wildlife and plants.
- Guard against all risk of fire.
- Help keep air and water clean.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
- Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
- Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
- Enjoy and share the landscape with others.
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Before Setting Out
Enjoying Trustees Reservations
About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land
Tell Us What You Think
We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:
Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.
Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.
Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.