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
1 day ago

Nice trail. We went up white and down orange to avoid a long steep downhill. Nice lookout at the peak and nearby. You can climb around the tight squeeze on the way down. Then it is a lovely walk in the woods.

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing view, the way down is at first a bit steep, but then levels out (and is a bit boring).

Trail is dog friendly but there's a rod and gun club nearby with a range. You can easily hear the gun shots from the rec hunters and if your dog is skittish from thunder or fireworks, it may take some work to get your pup on the trails. Good hike overall though.

Easy hike. There was a lot of bugs in July as mentioned in another comment. Looked like the spring had a lot of decent sized fish.

hiking
1 month ago

Parking lot at the Notch Visitor Center fills up quickly, got there about 9:30 am and was already almost full. Did the hike with my 11 year old lab, who scrambled a little on some of the last stretch up. Definitely a well trafficked trail so if you are looking for more solo quiet time maybe not the best choice. Agree with some other reviews that it's not super well marked, many markers have faded and not been renewed for a while. I got a little sidetracked on the way down, but always set my GPS when I start a hike so wasn't too difficult to get back on right trail. A decent Sunday morning workout!

Loved the view, but the directions were a little unclear

on Mount Norwottuck

hiking
1 month ago

When we were on the actual trail, it was super nice. Kids didn't complain. Then, about 2 miles into it, we somehow got off the trail. Between the 4 of us, we still aren't sure how it happened because we were clearly following the markings until we weren't. There are quite a few marked trails out there that we could not locate on the map so it was a bit of a pain to find our way back. We hiked an extra 1.1 miles due to all of this. Not sure I would venture out this way again just due to poor markings.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome quick hike to a nice view. Strenuous at some points but fairly easy. When you get to the top veer off to side path to see awesome views from cliffs. Check out the trail log!

4 months ago

Great workout. beautiful views.

hiking
4 months ago

A really nice hike. A few things to consider. Parking is very limited on Lithia Springs Road. A variety of “No parking between signs”, “Parking in front of gate will result in tow”, etc. An option for parking is to drive past Gagne’s Package store on Rte 116. A short distance on left you will see a sign indicating “Hikers Parking”, and this is where it gets weird. The lot where you are allowed to park for Hiking is loaded with “No Trespassing” signs. Seems to be sending two messages here, ok to park if your a hiker., but others? I’m told the signs remain from the days when you were not allowed to hike in this area, before it was part of the State Park. Once parked in the lot, just walk around the gate and hike for about 5 minutes and you will see a trail that goes to the left. (If you come up to some blue drainage pipe and some old fire extinguishers, you went too far) BTW - at the trail head is a blue and white sign, you guessed it, it says “No Trespassing” but take the trail for a little ways and a small jog to the right at the end of the trail and you will see some houses and you will be right at Lithia Springs Road. From there you will see the trail markers for the Lithia Springs Trail. (Time from the “Hikers parking on 116 is about 10M) Much easier than worrying about your car being towed. For those looking to go farther than the Reservoir, you will see on the way to the reservoir a trail marker leading you to the Summit House on the Mount Holyoke Range. Enjoy

walking
8 months ago

I love lithia but I just found out about the section of trails from the pond up the mountain I have only ever been as far out as the pond. Today the dog and I took a jaunt up the trail but could not map out where it lead to there is a brown and a red trail the brown has two trail markers I saw one on the yellow trail before the pond and then another after you rejoin yellow across the pond. I would love to see anyone’s map or recording or the further portion of the trails. My suspicion is that they all lead to the mt holyoke range trails but I did not have the time to accurately record and explore. Someone please record or mark the rest of the trails so I can walk without getting lost because I’m dumb!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful as advertised. Great view of pond at end.
Stay on yellow trail. Look for Todd Andrew Bristol memorial along the way. Sad.

hiking
9 months ago

Loved this trail, there aren't any signs, just trail markers, so without using this as my guide I may have been a little bit off track. Beautiful reservoir and great for dogs to come too also.

10 months ago

Beautiful view of the Pioneer Valley. Nice and quiet on our Monday AM trip.

The hike itself is nice but I think overrated given what else there is in the area. Good views at the top, we walked down to the horse 'caves' which were a cool rock formation. The 3 star rating is due to the horrible trail markings and map. There exist a significant number of trails that arent listed on the map, and the intersections arent clearly marked. For such a popular hike, they could put some effort in on a decent map and trail marking system. Only saving grace were the numbered location markers at some trail intersections, which are actually on the map.

nature trips
11 months ago

Exactly as I expected. The tips to follow the yellow markers to the water and that there was not a lot of signage also really helped. I went with my 5 and 7 year old nephews and we all enjoyed this trail, and the people we met along the way!
Lots of dogs, most not on leashes, so be prepared if you are not a dog person!

11 months ago

Easy trail to lovely reservoir. Could use more markers and trail signs, but it wasn't hard to follow.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Great day hike from Boston

hiking
Friday, June 30, 2017

Really enjoyed this hike. We took the white marked trail to the summit and down to the horse caves, then the orange trail back to the visitor center. The views are awesome and it's a good workout.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nice hike...TONS of bugs though.

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

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
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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
Monday, May 22, 2017

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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A moderate hike in the amherst area with a variety of views

hiking
Friday, December 30, 2016

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
Thursday, November 24, 2016

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
Monday, October 24, 2016

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
Thursday, October 06, 2016

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.

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