The South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) originated as a working group of the Sustainability and Energy Commission. In September 2015, the Committee was formally appointed as an advisory group to the Selectboard. Members are appointed annually and our goals include the development of safe bike/walk routes and outdoor resources throughout our community. We work with the Selectboard, Recreation Department, Conservation Commission, and connect with other groups locally and regionally. The Committee works to support implementation of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s bike/walk comprehensive plan for South Hadley.
|Bike/Walk Committee Members||Term|
We normally meet at 7:00pm on the second Tuesday of the month, and currently meetings are held virtually in response to state and local COVID-19 guidance.
The Bike/Walk Committee works closely with the Recreation Department, which can be reached by email with questions or for information at firstname.lastname@example.org. To reach the Bike/Walk Committee or to be added to our email distribution list for updates on Bike/Walk events, Treks, and news, please email email@example.com. For more on biking in Massachusetts, visit: MassBike Pioneer Valley and Mass Bike.
Agendas & Minutes
BWC is seeking new committee members
Want to be part of a group that is passionate about walking and biking in Town? Want to make a difference for current and future residents in their quality of life? Join us in our quest to improve and/or enhance walking and biking initiatives! BWC committee members need to be residents of South Hadley.
An online application and information on other current volunteer committee positions in South Hadley is available elsewhere on the Town website.
Outdoor Resource Updates
South Hadley Hiking Trails
Town recreational trails may be utilized by residents in accordance with State of Emergency orders and posted safety precautions, which include social distancing, face coverings, and following directional arrows when present to reduce face-to-face contact. If more than five cars are parked in a lot or in the general area, residents are asked to wait or return later.
If you’re out on our trails in town, please make sure you automatically give everyone you may meet a wide berth (at least 6 feet apart) to maintain safe social distancing and be prepared to put on your mask if you will be passing other hikers. Please don’t group or congregate at any time in any place, even with folks you socially know. Distance is key! If you see anything untoward on the trails, e.g. vandalism, obvious motorized use (including what appears to be constructed ramps and/or oddly placed structures), garbage or other debris, fallen trees across paths, etc., please send us a note to report the concern at, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dogs must be leashed on Town trails and Conservation areas. Please be sure to pick up any pet waste and take it with you--do not leave it on a trail or in a bag on a trail.
Pack it in, pack it out. If you have trash you need to dispose of, please take it home with you if there are no trash receptacles in the area or if they are full.
Reminders for Dog Owners
During these times where more of us are spending time at home and using local outdoor public facilities, we want to remind all dog owners of the expectations in public spaces.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times at South Hadley Conservation Areas and in all public spaces and Town trails.
- Pick up any pet waste and take it with you, no matter where you are. Do not leave it on a trail or in a bag on a trail, or on grassy or wooded areas near sidewalks, etc. Dog poop is more harmful than you may think--Take the Pet Waste Pledge to help keep our local waters clean.
- Dogs are NOT allowed at Town parks (Buttery Brook Park, Beachgrounds) and school facilities, etc.
The South Hadley Dog Park, opened in 2020 and located near the Ledges Golf Club, offers a space where dogs can meet other dogs and you can meet other dog lovers. The park has designated play areas for small dogs and large dogs. See the Friends of the South Hadley Dog Park website for info and park rules: southhadleydogpark.org.
MHC Grounds to Reopen to the Public on May 29, 2021
The outdoor grounds of the Mount Holyoke College campus will reopen to the community on Saturday, May 29, 2021 in conjunction with the state's new Covid-19 guidance. All buildings will continue to be closed to the public. Outdoor athletic facilities such as the track and tennis courts are being repaired and will not be available for use this summer. Fishing will be allowed at the Upper Lake off Park Street and behind the Kendall Center, but is not permitted at the Lower Lake or other campus waterways. Please carry out any trash brought to the campus, including pet waste and fishing supplies. Masks will not be needed while walking outdoors, but will still be required for everyone at any outdoor events regardless of vaccination status. For details, see the College's reopening advisory, as well the campus map and campus trail information.
Buttery Brook Park Facility Rentals
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Buttery Brook Park pavilions and other park facilities are not being rented for the 2021 season. After operations resume, all inquiries about facilities and rentals in season should be made directly to South Hadley Recreation Department by phone at 413-538-5030 x6188 or email at email@example.com. The Recreation Department will handle all reservations and rentals, and provide availability options, general information (including any rules about liquor), and details about any insurance requirement. Pricing and additional information will be available once operations resume.
BWC Treks remain on hold due to COVID-19
For several years prior to the pandemic, the Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) offered free, public, guided Treks from September to May to explore local conservation lands and other resources. Treks were normally scheduled on Sundays at 1:00 pm with participants gathering at 12:45 pm and new Trekkers are always welcomed. No Treks were scheduled in June, July, and August, and all events were subject to change or cancellation due to weather.
Trek maps to download
- Sidewalk Scenic Trail Trek Map-Senior Center/Black Stevens Loop (PDF)
- Black Stevens Conservation Area Trail Map-2018 (PDF)
- Mount Holyoke College Trail System Map (PDF)
- Mount Holyoke College Campus Map (map.mtholyoke.edu)
- Ledges Golf Course Paths Map (PDF)
- Bynan Conservation Area Trail Map (PDF)
- Walking the Falls | South Hadley Falls walks and historical info (PDF)
- River-to-Range Loop and Bachelor-Stoney Brook Conserv. Maps (PDF)
- Bagg-Pierce Wildlife Sanctuary Trail and Ortho Map (PDF)
- Leaping Well Nature Trail Map (PDF)
- Ashley Reservioir-Holyoke Trek (PDF)
Conservation areas and hiking trails, recreation, river access
- Hiking trails mapped with GPS
- South Hadley conservation lands
- Conservation land regulations
- Parks and Recreation facilities, DCR ParksPass Program
- Holyoke G&E river resources, including South Hadley Riverside Parks
News and Notes
Free Outdoor Enjoyment Kits
The South Hadley Recreation Department in collaboration with the South Hadley Health Department is offering free Outdoor Enjoyment Kits to families in the community. There has been an increase in outdoor activity over the past year at our local public parks and trail networks, and the Town has received grant funding to help everyone enjoy the outdoors safely this summer. The kits contain sunscreen to protect from harmful UV rays, tick and mosquito repellent wipes, lint rollers for tick removal, and information about ticks in a reusable bag.
To reserve a kit for your family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Kits can currently be picked up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10am and 2pm or an appointment can be scheduled.
Bike Rodeo on July 20 at Smith Middle School
The South Hadley Recreation Department is sponsoring a Bike Rodeo on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at Michael E. Smith Middle School, which is located at 100 Mosier Street. The event will take place from 10:00am to 1:00pm and will be geared toward kids in grades 2-7. The Bike Rodeo will feature an obstacle course, and how-to's on properly wearing a bike helmet and other information on bike safety. The Rodeo is presented through a partnership between the South Hadley Recreation and Police Departments and Safe Routes to School, a program of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
Help Protect the Lauzier Farm on Alvord Street
This 210-acre farm is the last of its kind in South Hadley. Located near the Connecticut River, the town-owned Newton, Carver, Jones Conservation Area, and the Ledges Golf Club, the land has been farmed for decades. To purchase an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) that will prohibit housing development and permanently protect this important farmland and scenic landscape, we need to raise a local match of $150,000 and the Town is working in partnership with Kestrel Land Trust on this campaign. For more information or to donate by check to the South Hadley Conservation Commission, see: https://www.southhadley.org/1100/Protect-Lauzier-Farm. To make a donation online through Kestral Land Trust, visit: https://www.kestreltrust.org/lauzierfarm/. All donations are tax deductible.
Friends of Buttery Brook Park to Meet
An outdoor meeting of the Buttery Brook Park Friends group is scheduled for 1:00pm on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at the park, and all are welcome. The Friends are seeking new members to participate in helping to plan activities such a free Summer Concert with the band Midlife Crisis on Saturday, Aug 7, 2021 (5-7pm; rain date Aug 8) sponsored by the Friends, and the return of Big Rig Day on Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 (11am-1pm; rain date Aug 12). Big Rig Day is sponsored by the Recreation Department, South Hadley Electric Light Department (SHELD), and the Friends. Group members and friends also identify and advocate for ongoing park improvements, such as a new fitness trail.
Tick Testing Resources
The University of Massachusetts Laboratory of Medical Zoology halted service during the pandemic and is unable to accept samples for testing at this time. The UMass Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment offers a list of potential tick identification and testing alternatives at: https://ag.umass.edu/resources/tick-testing-resources
Valley Rail News
Amtrak's Vermonter service, was shut down in March 2020 due to the pandemic, will return to western MA beginning July 19, 2021, with daily service between Washington DC and St. Albans VT. A 50% off sale for travel between stations in CT, MA, and VT is available between thru July 15 for travel between July 19 and September 6, 2021. The Amtrak/MassDOT Valley Flyer service between Greenfield MA and New Haven CT will re-launch a second round trip train beginning July 26. For more information and news about East/West rail and other Valley connections see Trains in the Valley: https://trainsinthevalley.org/2021/07/08/rail-news-roundup-39/
South Hadley Volunteer Conservation Corps | Spring 2021 Events
Several tree planting and cleanup activities are scheduled over the coming weeks. Due to the ongoing pandemic, events are limited in capacity and registration is required. Masks are required, and volunteers should bring their own tools, gloves, water, etc.
- Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 9:30am--Hahn-Warner Arboretum Cleanup, behind the Middle School on Newton Street (Rain date 4/25). RSVP: email@example.com
For the following events, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org | 413.538.5017 x6123:
- Saturday, May 1, 2021--Help a Neighbor Plant a Tree (times/locations to be arranged). Assist residents who have signed up to receive trees through South Hadley's MVP Tree Program and need help planting their trees.
- Monday, May 3, 2021 at 2:00pm--South Hadley Library Tree Planting (2 Canal Street). Come join community members to plant trees, shrubs, and ground covers at the library and learn how to transform unused and bare spaces with native plants.
- Friday, May 14, 2021 at 1:00pm--Black Stevens Trails Work Party (Newton Street, next to the high school). Come trim brush, tidy up trails, and listen to the sounds of spring at this delightful conservation area in the heart of South Hadley. Trail Map.
- Week of May 24, 2021--Water Chestnut Pull in Bachelor Brook (Date TBD). Volunteers with canoes and kayaks are being sought to help pull water chestnut from the mouth of Bachelor Brook near the CT River. The population of this nasty invasive plant was relatively under control t this location in 2019, but rebounded dramatically in 2020. We are seeking to get out early this year to pull plants before they set seed. This work is physically challenging, but very rewarding! Once we know who can help, we will schedule the best date for volunteers. Thank you!!
Many kudos and a big thank-you to Conservation Administrator/Planner Anne Capra and all those who help out as part of our Volunteer Conservation Corps to help. The group is comprised of residents who volunteer their time to assist with improving, enhancing and maintaining our trails in town, mostly on town-owned Conservation Area Lands. Please consider volunteering to keep the Conservation Corps a robust group! All are welcome.
Email email@example.com with your name/contact information to be notified of ongoing opportunities. Any task you can do and any time you can give are valuable!
Read a report from staff writer Dalton Zbierski of the Town Reminder on the South Hadley Conservation Corps and partnerships among Town stakeholders:
Land stewardship grows through interdepartmental efforts
ValleyBike Share (VBS) is open for the 2021 season and pedelec bikes are docked at three stations in South Hadley: Mount Holyoke College Station (on the Town Common, intersection of Rts 116 and 47), Woodlawn Plaza Station (494 Newton Street), and the Eink Station (by the Police Station at 41 Bridge Street). VBS serves the communities of Amherst and UMass, Easthampton, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley, and Springfield.
For more information: https://valleybike.org/ or on the ValleyBike Facebook page. If you have any difficulties or need additional information, it would be VBS’s pleasure to help: firstname.lastname@example.org. For urgent matters, call VBS at: 1-877-460-2435
Doo your Duty!
Help prevent water pollution and health risks caused by pet waste by taking the Pick Up Poop (PUP) Pledge today, an initiative of Connecticut River Stormwater Committee. For details, visit: thinkblueconnecticutriver.org/pet-waste-management
South Hadley Social Strollers are Back!
The Social Strollers walking group resumes in April 2021 on Wednesdays at 9:30am with new UMass interns. The Senior Center program offers experienced leaders to guide participants through the neighborhoods surrounding the center and beyond. Participants in the free program have walked twice a week, with a goal of increasing a walk time a bit during each session. Former Bike-Walk Committee member Huguette Supinski has been a volunteer leader for the program. For more information, call the South Hadley Senior Center at (413) 538-5042.
South Hadley Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
The South Hadley Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission charts a plan for short-and-long-term improvements to South Hadley’s hiking, biking and walking networks. It is the culmination of several years of work including extensive analysis of South Hadley’s transportation networks, public outreach, and work with a dedicated committee of Town Staff and volunteers.
Routes 202/33 Corridor Study
The Town sought input from residents through in connection with development of a vision for the Route 202/33 through a survey conducted in 2020. A PDF of the Route 202/33 Corridor Study presentation can be viewed online.
Leaping Well Nature Trail
In January of 2018, Town Meeting voted to move forward on the BWC proposal to create a small neighborhood trail system on the 21-acre former Toth property owned by the Town. The Trail name is taken from the Leaping Well Brook on the property. Work on the trail started in 2019, with mulch and wood chips added to improve the trail’s surface and experience of using it. Volunteers who worked with at the Leaping Well Nature Trail iincluded the Brownie and Junior Girl Scout Troop 40398 led by Michelle Wolfe and Laurie and Brian Dimock. Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner received technical assistance from a wildlife biologist at MassDFW to develop a habitat management plan for the property to use as the foundation for stewardship of the property.
A kiosk with information for the .66 mile in-town trail can be found at the public entrance, are located near the small crescent-shaped parking lot on Mosier Street adjacent to Mosier Elementary School: Leaping Well Nature Trail Map.
Previous news on the Leaping Well Nature Trail:
WWLP-22News: New pedestrian trail coming to South Hadley (video)
Town Reminder: Residents Maintain Leaping Well Nature Trail by Dalton Zbierski
Located off Ferry Street, the River-to-Range Trail is a one-mile, ADA-accessible path that is part of the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area. The loop and associated trailhead parking lot are adjacent to the Mount Holyoke College’s boathouse at 240 Ferry Street, South Hadley. The trail loops around the outer edges of a hayfield with seasonal views of the Connecticut River, then through a forested section overlooking the floodplain of Bachelor Brook. The trail is open to non-motorized use and designed to accommodate mobility for impaired people and features a compacted crushed aggregate surface for easy walking. Four sitting areas with informational signage are spaced throughout the route. The loop represents the first phase of a three-phase scenic trail project. Trail Map for River-to-Range and Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area
For more information, email Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner or call (413) 538-5017 x208.
Valley Flyer Train Service along the Knowledge Corridor
Amtrak and MassDOT launched a new state-supported pilot program in 2019 offering 7-day a week passenger service between Greenfield and New Haven with scheduled connections to NYC. In the Valley, station stops include Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield. For service adjustments due to COVID-19 and other information, visit: www.amtrak.com/valley-flyer-train. More information about the Valley Flyer, the Hartford Line, East-West rail status, and other Pioneer Valley rail news can be found at: TrainsInTheValley.org.
Route 116/Newton Street Reconstruction and Resurfacing
Additional work on Newton Street in the area between Route 202 and the Kendrick Street intersection is planned, which is meant to include new sidewalks and crosswalks, and ADA compliant ramps. An on-road buffered bicycle lane is also planned along the majority of the corridor, which is home to South Hadley High School and the Woodlawn neighborhood.
South Hadley Complete Streets Prioritization Plan
The South Hadley Complete Streets initiative, which is supported by the BWC, involves sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic calming, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, bus stop improvements and other related projects. The Prioritization Plan and Final Project List are available as PDF documents: