Mt Holyoke Range Trail

HARD 98 reviews

Mt Holyoke Range Trail is a 11.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Amherst, Massachusetts that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3195 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

hiking
1 month ago

Good strenuous hike! The Seven Sisters part of the trail (approx 12 miles) was a calf/thigh buster...step inclines/declines with lots of rock hopping. Starts off will a steep slope which is pretty much what your in for for the rest of the hike. Approx. 2 - 4” of packed snow and ice throughout the trail (12/15/2017). Take good traction. I did the M&M trail part and then had problems finding the loop at the end...before you approach the stairs headed up to Skinner State Park lookout bare to the right. I also did a few easy trails by the parking area at Holyoke Range State Park parking area...total 17 miles. Overall great workout and awesome hike!

hiking
1 month ago

We checked out this trail as this is where the Seven sisters trail race is held. It's tough with lots of ups and downs. Impressive for anyone who runs it. We had a late start and only went out a little over 3.5 miles and back. Very busy the first half mile which is all uphill with lots of people going up to the only view point of the trail. But it gets quieter further out. Other limited views later are only possible from leave-less trees. Fallen leaves made some downhill quite slippery. Overall a nice decent wooded trail that provides lots of hill work out. But very limited view. I also didn't like hearing constant gunshots in the early part of the trail from a nearby shooting range.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful and tough.

2 months ago

This is a great place to get a good, vigorous hike. It is a moderate to strenuous trail in a mixed deciduous forest in central Massachusetts. There are many side trails and they are true to the map you can get at the park headquarters near the entrance from Rte. 116. There are some beautiful, expansive views from the summit.

hiking
3 months ago

Saw a bear!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Did just under 10 mile loop. Lots of elevation change and gorgeous views.

trail running
5 months ago

The trail itself was easy to follow and the sites were great along the way. If you are looking for a good workout I'd recommend this, but not for actual running. Most of this trail is spent in steep climbs or descents on rocky terrain making it difficult to really find a good running groove. Don't let that discourage you, it's still a fun adventure and will get those legs a workout.

5 months ago

Trail was too rocky and for the amount of effort we put into it, there really was no amazing views. Trail is best for an intense workout. I would not bring a dog on this hike either.

hiking
7 months ago

Fun and varied day hike. Lots of bugs this time of year.

it was alright...good views but not that intense.

hiking
8 months ago

Difficult trail but a great workout!

10 months ago

Amazing trail with plenty of zigzags and different terrain. The white trail is the one to take on the loop. To start the trail walk across the street from the parking lot for the notch visitor center and go straight.

hiking
10 months ago

very beautiful trails. much variety, flat paths, up down and zig zag paths and paths where you actually work a little. bathrooms. parking. good food within 10 minutes.

hiking
11 months ago

awesome trail very tough if not in shape. I did it once in the summer and once in the winter for a little more of a challenge

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Round trip 11 mile seven sisters skinner to the notch and back -beautiful and challenging to go round trip -lots of water needed !

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2016

Agreed that it is is beautiful and grueling. One word of caution, the trail blazes are not very frequent and there is a big chance that you can stray from the trail from time to time. There are lots of little trail offshoots that, while short and you realize fairly quickly that you made a wrong turn, it can add some distance & time to your planned hike. It probably added 1/2 mile or so to my hike. However, some of the "side trips" resulted in seeing very nice views and so you can't get to upset.

Started hike at the Notch Visitors Center (1500 West St., Amherst, MA). Took the Metacomet-Monadnock trail ("M-M"; white blazes) across the road. Trail begins heading straight up immediately (500' of elevation in about 0.6 miles) to the top of Bare Mt. The views from the peaks were beautiful - the day was clear and warm and it felt that I could see all the way to the Vermont border. You don't get too much respite from the ups & downs until you get to the top of Mt. Hitchcock, which for me was 1.55 miles from the start because of the "side trips". Again, appreciate the views at the top of the ridge, since there really is not much to see as you head down the mountains. Made a left onto Mt. Hitchcock trail ("MH; red blazes) and proceeded down hill for about 0.7 miles. The trail is very hard to follow, both because of the infrequency of red blazes, and because the trail generally follows a dried up stream bed which has lots of loose rocks, covered by leaves and tree branches. If you just aim downhill, you will eventually hit the intersecting trail, the Lithia Springs trail ("LS"; yellow blazes). I made a right on the LS trail, which is a generally flat trail - kind of a nice "walk in the park" trail - which is a nice way to relax about the uphills of the M-M trail and the downhill, ankle busting MH trail. Continued about 0.7 miles on the LS until its intersection with the Low Place trail ("LP"; blue blazes) coming in from the right. Proceeded up the LP for about 0.8 miles as it generally rose at a fairly moderate and gradual incline. Very nice forest trail with not a lot of scrambling or difficult terrain. At the top, the LP intersects with the M-M. Be alert at this point as the white M-M blazes are not clear or nearby - you need to look around a bit away from the intersection to find the blazes. I made a right onto the M-M and continued back about 1.4 miles (you will note that the mileage doesn't add up since I made a number of unintended "side trips" on the way out), down & up and down & up and sometimes, down & up & up & up - got to the point that I dreaded the down as I knew that there would be a worse up as payment for the down. The are a number of spots on the M-M where you have to stow your trekking poles and scramble up or down some outcroppings of rock. That was the fun part. At the end of this you get to enjoy a nice downhill walk, albeit it on fairly loose rock and some small boulder outcroppings.

On a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (strenuous) with 3 being "moderate", I would rate this hike about a 3.75/4.0 - there was a lot of ups which were pretty steep, but easily doable. Also, the younger you are the more that this would probably move closer to the 3.5, but now you know that I am not that young. It was a lot of fun, and if I had more time I would have continued further towards Taylor's Notch and Mt. Holyoke - next time.

hiking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

Beautiful and grueling at the same time. We hiked from Skinner park to the Summit house in about 5 hours. The views were well worth it though.

hiking
Monday, April 25, 2016

First hike of the season! Yay

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mt. Holyoke kicked my ass. If you like a good challenge this is for you. My thighs and legs have never hated me so much before. For the far I got, I have a new appreciation for my body. Didn't get to finish the white trail, which is super steep, but I sure do plan to go back and complete it one of these fine days. I’d recommend starting as early as you can if you plan a long hike, bring lots of fluids and a few snacks for energy, invest in a good pair of hiking shoes-learned that the hard way and bring a set of hiking/workout gloves or hiking stick.... it gets very steep and if climbing isn’t your forte’ you might need some support from the rocks/ground or rocks.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mt.Holyoke kicked my ass...I have never felt so defeated by my legs and thighs. For the far I got, I have a new appreciation for my body. I didn't get to finish but I plan to. If you like a good challenge...I recommend this hike. Bring lots of fluids and a snack or two with you as well as climbing gloves/stick. It gets quite steep so you might need some sort of support from the rocks, trees or ground. And get a good pair of hiking shoes...learned that the hard way.

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