Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust secures permanent public access to Richardson Overlook in Northfield

  • The view of Mount Grace from the Richardson Overlook in Northfield. Contributed Photo/Paul Rezendes

Staff Report
Published: 8/16/2021 2:31:26 PM

NORTHFIELD — After a decade of stewarding the Richardson Overlook, Northfield residents Sam and Barbara Richardson are transferring a 38-acre property to Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust to ensure permanent access to the scenic site for everyone.

As the Athol-based trust’s newest conservation area, the property will be managed in partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), according to a Mount Grace press release.

“We worked with Mount Grace to conserve our beloved property in 2011 as part of Mount Grace’s Metacomet Monadnock Forest Legacy Project,” Barbara Richardson said in the release. “Since then, it’s been a labor of love to build a network of hiking and skiing trails, create this beautiful 180-degree lookout point, and construct a cabin and tent platforms on the summit with our friend, Mike Zlogar.”

Northfield Open Space Committee member Joanne McGee said a short walk up the trail to the Richardson Overlook rewards hikers with two beautiful views — “look north to Mount Grace, Mount Ascutney, Mount Wachusett and Mount Monadnock, or west across the Berkshires.” In addition to the summit view, a section of the New England National Scenic Trail runs through the property.

“Mount Grace wanted to secure the Richardsons’ legacy, because it would be so easy for someone else to buy the land and close off access to the summit,” said Mount Grace Executive Director Emma Ellsworth.

Mount Grace will own and steward the land, and the Appalachian Mountain Club will continue to manage the use of the Richardson-Zlogar cabin and the trail.

“AMC is grateful for the care Sam and Barbara Richardson have already given to this land and the New England Trail over many years, and the partnership with Mount Grace will help ensure that people will be able to immerse themselves in nature here for years to come,” said Appalachian Mountain Club’s Conservation and Recreation Policy Director Heather Clish.

Mount Grace and AMC plan to host a hike to the Richardson Overlook in the fall, but a date has yet to be announced. To learn more, visit mountgrace.org/visit/conserved/richardson-overlook.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Mike Zlogar’s first name.


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