Rising roughly 1,000 feet in elevation, Mt. Holyoke Range State Park straddles the seven-mile ridge that runs from Hadley to Belchertown. The ridge is a patchwork of state, town and private lands. Parcels acquired by the state since the 1970's bring the park to over 3,000 acres. The Notch Visitor Center, located on Route 116 in Amherst, is open daily. Displays and interpretive programs are available in season. The park's Friends group offers hikes and programs throughout the year. The Mt. Holyoke Range formed some 200 million years ago when lava flowed from the valley floor, cooled and was upended. More recently, glaciers left their signature, scouring the ridge's jagged edges smooth in some places, exposing bedrock, or depositing till, sand, clay or muck in others. Since early days, settlers used all but the sheerest inclines for woodlots and pastures. Now mostly wooded, the ridge's steep slopes and east-west orientation create a number of forest types, including birch-beech-hemlock on the north side and oak-hickory on the south. Thickets, streams, ponds, and wetlands add to the diversity. Over 30 miles of marked trails provide a variety of outdoor experiences including hiking, walking, viewing vistas, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding and hunting.

hiking
19 days ago

Nice little hike along a woods road leading to the reservoir. Easy trailhead access. Could use more blazes. We pulled the kids up in sleds and had a blast coming back down the last stretch. Ran into hunters, so make sure to wear orange if it's hunting season.

hiking
1 month ago

Great thanksgiving day morning hike! Great views from the top and horse caves very cool. Dogs were challenged to slip through the cave area. Now to some turkey!

This Was a great hike with well marked trails.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. the only reason I didn't give it a five star is because it can get confusing if it's your first time. The blazing can be done better. I didn't run into major issues but I can see that being one for inexperienced hikers.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall great hike, with beautiful views. Well marked. White trail gave an aerobic up with fairly easy bouldering, orange portion of the trail was nice and easy.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views, but be careful and keep your eye on the trail markers. We got off track and had to call 911 for assistance. They were extremely helpful, but we wish we hadn't had to trouble them.

hiking
4 months ago

I used to hike this every day. it's a great hike.

hiking
4 months ago

more than expected as far as the view.

hiking
4 months ago

Very easy trail to hike. Plenty of spots on the water to sit back and take in the nature.

on Lithia Springs

hiking
4 months ago

Easy trail. Can't wait to go back to fish! Water looks really clean.

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike. We took our daughter and her 2 friends along with our dog and had a great time. I found the hike quite easy. The views were amazing

hiking
6 months ago

Was such a great workout for me and my dogs, there's so much incline! The struggle to the top was worth it, the view is breath taking!

walking
6 months ago

Not very well marked. Follow the yellow marks if you can. It's weird that it says no swimming on the sign by where you park on Lithia Springs rd.

Beautiful hike!

hiking
7 months ago

Great! Happy to see the horse caves along this trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Love this trail. I am not an incredibly experienced hiker but not a total newbie either. I've followed the M-M trail through Mt Norwottuck and Long Mountain previously. It's a fairly rigorous hike but not too crazy, and there are lots of different side trails you can follow.

Today I followed to white blazes to the top of Mt Norwottuck, took about 40 minutes at an easy pace. Had a nice lunch there then continued to the horse caves. Detoured to the Rattlesnake Knob (low elevation vista with a nice view of surroundings) before heading back on the Robert Frost trail (orange blazes). All in all the trip took 2 hours and 40 minutes, with several breaks and stops to take in the view and surrounding area. Definitely recommend this route, the way back is fairly easy and a welcome respite from the ups and downs of the way up. Be sure to grab a map from the visitors center - there is much to explore and can get easy to get lost without one. There is some loose rock and steep inclines in places so would refrain from taking small children.

A predawn hike to watch the sunrise from the top is a great and recommended journey.