Highlands Footpath First Blazing on Gobble Mountain

The Wild & Scenic Westfield River Committee was delighted to help the Highlands Footpath (HFP) coordinate their first day of blazing. The segment selected runs along Gobble ridge with views of the Westfield River Valley and town of Chester below.
On March 26th an excited group made up of long time HFP advocates, a rep. from the Nature Conservancy and new highlands Footpath enthusiasts headed out of Chester center onto private property, with the blessings of the land owner. After a few hundred feet the HFP enters Chester Watershed land, the town of was delighted to give permission for the long distant footpath to follow a before unsanctioned Unkamit’s trail, now fully vetted, at this location, and celebrated by those who admire the spirit of adventure embraced by it’s creators. The trail leaves Chester watershed land near the summit and travels through Nature Conservancy property to the historic airway beacon. Efforts are underway to assess the beacon with the hopes of restoration.
Further blazing and trail creation lays ahead, we look forward to many wonderful workdays and explorations with all of you.!! Meredyth Babcock
“It’s all still there in heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure-they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days and years to come.”
– Edward Abbey

2 thoughts on “Highlands Footpath First Blazing on Gobble Mountain

  1. I grew up on the east side of Gobble Mountain as my father did and I wish I had a nickle for every time we would go to the Beacon as kids. My father and his siblings would hike to the Beacon when it was still in operation. I along with many of my friends used to camp under at the Beacon when we were much younger. I think all of our names are carved in a tree some where up there. When the trail was unsanctioned we just called it the white marked trail. I first discovered it 20 plus years ago while deer hunting on Round Hill in Chester. We soon discovered it went along the top of Gobble Mountain so we have hiked from Hampden St to the Key Stone Arch many times on an off the path.
    There are a few other very interesting things on the east and west side of the beacon that deserve attention which I would be more than happy to point out to who ever is interested. It is a great piece of western mass woods.

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