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
3 days ago

Nice hike...TONS of bugs though.

good moderate challenge..stunning view, cant wait to do rest of the range eventually

hiking
17 days ago

Good season starter moderate hike with a moderate amount of elevation gain spread out over a couple miles. Trails are marked pretty well, however look around you as the marking may be behind you. As always be prepared, saw a few different groups of people who did not have enough water.

hiking
24 days ago

It is a great trail but views aren't as great as some other mountains close by (mount tom, even sugarloaf) and finding your way can be very confusing. I have climbed it several times and still occasionally get lost.

hiking
1 month ago

My Grandson & I enjoyed this pet friendly hike that traversed Mt. Norwottuck, the Horse Caves & Rattlesnake Knob. Although this hike is registered under Mt. Norwottuck, it extended well beyond that covering many unnamed trails. (See Recording) DCR has Location Signs(see uploaded photos) at all intersections that make it easy for you to identify your position. Matching the Location Number on the available maps (available at Notch Visitor Center)make navigating the many intersecting trails simple.

This moderate hike will have you huffing on your way to the top of Mt. Norwottuck. A little cardio workout but moderate at best. No scrambling on this hike.

I would highly recommend bug repellent for hikers. The mosquitoes were horrendous. Normally we pick a spot midway through the hike to stop and have lunch. Not on this hike though. The minute you stopped moving, the mosquitoes attacked. It was a great incentive to finish the hike early.

hiking
2 months ago

on Mount Norwottuck

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago