Bike-Walk Committee

CANCELLATION NOTICE!
Today's Trek at Leaping Well Trail is canceled due to a forecast for rain to start by Trek time and become steady by 2pm.

November 6, 2022 at 10:00am: We are seeing two different forecast models, one that calls for a line of rain currently to our southwest to be right over South Hadley at Trek time with 87% chance of steady rain at 2pm, and another that has it staying further to the west. As Leaping Well Trail is a fairly narrow and could easily become slippery with a bit of rain, we've decided it would be best to try this one at another time since we can't be sure of conditions at Trek time.


About the South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee

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 designated 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.

  1. Ruth Camuse

    Term expires:  2023


  1. Lucia Foley

    Term expires:  2023


  1. Larry Dubois

    Term expires:  2023


  1. Marilyn Gass

    Term expires:  2023


  1. Caroline Martin

    Term expires:  2023


Meetings

The Bike/Walk Committee normally meets at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month, and meetings are currently held virtually on Zoom. The Committee, whose members are appointed annually to one-year terms, serves in advisory capacity and works closely with the Recreation Department, which can be reached by email with questions or for information at recreation@southhadleyma.gov. 

To email the Bike/Walk Committee or to be added to our distribution list for updates on Bike/Walk events, Treks, and news, please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com. For more on biking in Massachusetts: MassBike Pioneer Valley and Mass Bike.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are posted prior to meetings. Minutes are available after approval.
View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes

BWC is seeking new committee members

Are you a South Hadley resident with an interest in biking, walking/hiking, and outdoor resources who'd like to to make a difference for current and future residents? Bike/Walk Committee members, who are appointed annually to one-year terms, work to promote and improve our outdoor assets and to implement the vision in our Town's Master Plan, including increasing outdoor Community Seating. We organize free, public Treks during fall-winter-spring months to help introduce people of all ages to our Conservation areas, trails, historic areas, and other places of interest. We love new ideas, and are particularly seeking members who would enjoy helping to develop new Treks and activities for families, assist in envisioning and creating a new Community Seating initiative and commemorative bench program, and those with some trail expertise. 

The Selectboard makes appointments to Town boards and committees three times a year, in October, February, and June. To apply to serve on the Bike/Walk Committee, start by filling out an online application. Before each appointment period the Selectboard will interview applicants for all positions, and candidates will be contacted with information about interviews. Please join us at an upcoming meeting if you're interested in our work!

Bike/Walk Treks

Our free, guided Treks, which resumed last fall, are usually held on Sunday afternoons at 1:00pm with participants gathering at 12:45pm. We do not schedule Treks in June, July, and August. Participants of all ages and new Trekkers are always welcomed! All Treks are subject to change or cancellation due to weather; should that appear necessary, please check this page for a cancellation notice. To join our mailing list, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com

Leaping Well Nature Trail Trek --CANCELED, RAIN FORECAST AT TREK TIME

Sunday, November 6 at 1:00pm 
(meet at the trail entrance located just behind the parking lot/kiosk at 12:45pm)
Trailhead next to Mosier Elementary School, 101 Mosier St, South hadley
Leaping Well Nature Trail Map (PDF)

Join us for a guided Trek on the Leaping Well Nature Trail, located behind Mosier Elementary School. People of all ages are invited to join us. It’s an opportunity to meet people, socialize, and enjoy nature! Located on the 21-acre former Toth property behind the elementary school, this 0.66-mile gem of a neighborhood trail is the most recent addition to South Hadley’s ever-improving trail system on town-owned lands. The trail consists of natural surfaces—grass, dirt, or wood chips. The route contains a few minor ascents and descents, and winds through a young forest, an old farm field, a forest of ornamental pear trees and across several wetlands along wooden boardwalks. 

Meet at 12:45pm at the entrance of the trail into woods, located a bit beyond the trailhead kiosk in the small hiker lot just before the school on Mosier Street. Participants may also park in the large school parking lot. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear (be prepared for some possible wet ground conditions), and bring water, and walking poles, if desired. New Trekkers are always welcomed!  

In the event of inclement weather a cancellation decision will be made by 10am and information will be posted here at www.southhadley.org/bikewalk.

River-to-Range Loop Trek

Sunday, October 16 at 1:00pm 
(meet in the Trail's parking area 12:45pm)
Located adjacent to the MHC Boathouse at 240 Ferry Street, South Hadley
Parking is available in the small lot on the right as you enter from Ferry Street
River-to-Range Loop and Bachelor/Stoney Brook Trail Maps (PDF)

The Trek will be led by Meghan Stone and BWC Member Caroline Martin. Naturalist Dan Ziomek, known his 'Birdsongs' radio program on 93.9 The River, will be on hand to talk about local birds and their voices. Located at the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation area on Ferry Street, the one mile trail offers beautiful woodland and field views, with seasonal views of the Connecticut River. The loop, which is designed to accommodate all levels of mobility, features an easily traversed surface and is well suited for all ages. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear; if desired, bring walking poles and water.

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Previous Trek maps and information

Conservation areas and hiking trails, recreation, river access

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Community Seating

The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) hosted “A Conversation About Community Seating” on Friday, June 24, 2022 via Zoom

South Hadley’s 2020 Master Plan Update calls for prioritizing places for people to sit, and to gather, outdoors. Seating on walking routes, in or near parks, transportation stops, shopping, conservation areas, and elsewhere will help create the thriving community envisioned in the Plan. Several boards, committees, and commissions are charged with making this happen, including the Bike/Walk Committee (BWC). BWC will be involved with helping to develop a bench sponsorship campaign and a master map for outdoor seating and gathering areas. MPIC is seeking input from those identified in the Master Plan as well as anyone else who is interested in this project. This initial conversation was held to help identify a working group and to determine its tasks. What sorts of issues should it consider? These might include locations, types of seating, installation and maintenance costs, mapping community seating resources, other? How could necessary funds be generated? 

If you'd like more information about the project or would be interested in joining a working group, please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com (please add 'Attn: Lucia Foley/Community Seating' in the subject line).

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News and Notes

Titus Pond Conservation Area Info Sessions on October 26

Two Community Engagement Sessions about the future of Titus Pond Conservation Area are planned for Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at South Hadley Senior Center: Session #1 is at 3:00pm and Session #2 is at 6:00pm. While the primary audience for the first session will be seniors and the second will be neighborhood residents, anyone interested in the project is invited to attend whichever design and visioning session best fits your schedule. Please share the event flyer with anyone who may be interested. More information about Phase 1 of the Titus Pond project can be found at: https://www.southhadley.org/1278/Climate-Change-Resiliency-Preparedness. Not sold yet on why you should attend? Take a peek at the exciting Conceptual Plans we'll be talking about. To help us plan, please RSVP to Rebekah Cornell at rcornell@southhadleyma.gov.

South Hadley Volunteer Conservation Corps 

An October cleanup was recently planned at River to Range Trail to cut back overgrown shrubs so that mowers can come through next year, and two additional projects are also in the works for this fall. To learn more about work parties and other opportunities to help, email Conservation Administrator/Planner Rebeka Cornell at: rcornell@southhadleyma.gov. Be sure to check out South Hadley's Monthly Conservation Newsletters!

Food, Entertainment, and AED Training Event on Saturday October 22

A new AED (Automated External Defibrillator) was recently installed at the front of the Log Cabin by the playground at Buttery Brook Park, located at 123 Willimansett Street (Rt 33), South Hadley. Come and be part of making South Hadley a safer community and learn how to use the AED and participate in some hands-on CPR training (sessions every half hour from 12-3pm). In addition to a free lunch provided by some favorite local restaurants, training participants will receive a $5 coupon good at any Bean Group restaurant, and be entered into a lottery tree raffle. The day's activities continue with a Pickleball Tournament featuring Women's, Men's and Mixed Divisions (11am to 8pm), music by Deejay KStyles, and a beer tent (12-7pm). Plan to stay to enjoy the music and a beer, and watch the Tournament on the Park's new Pickleball courts (lighted at night) to see the game in action. (Event rain date: 10.23.22). Download a brochure (1-page printable PDF). For questions about the event, email: southhadleypickleball@gmail.com.

Routes 202/33 Corridor Plan

Earlier this summer the Planning Board held a Zoom forum to present the Final Report of the Routes 202/33 Corridor Final Plan. The study, was conducted with a planning assistance grant from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and looked at the heavily traveled corridor in conjunction with the adjacent communities of Granby and Chicopee. Access to the Black Stevens Conservation Area and trails, Buttery Brook Park, and Leaping Well Reservoir are located within the corridor in South Hadley, where the Plan recommends protecting these wetlands and creating design standards that address pedestrian safety, promote walking and create common green space. Creating standards for the area around Big Y Plaza that focus on pedestrian-friendly improvements that increase landscaping and pedestrian safety is also recommended. For more information, the full plan can be reviewed at: Routes 202/33 Corridor Plan.

Bay State Tops 2022 Bicycle-Friendly Rankings

The League of American Bicyclists recently released its annual ranking of states on their policies and practices. Until now, since the rankings began in 2008 Washington has ranked first, but Massachusetts has now claimed first place for its efforts to promote safety and ridership--though there is still work to do on traffic laws and practices. For more information and individual state report cards: https://bikeleague.org/content/new-2022-bicycle-friendly-states-rankings-massachusetts

CityStrides Run Tracking App Resource 

Easthampton resident James Chevalier, formerly of Holyoke, created an app to help users achieve a goal of running, jogging, or walking every street in their communities. CityStrides (https://citystrides.com/) combines data from OpenStreetMap with run tracking tools from Runkeeper to create a resource that is now available to users worldwide. As of mid-May, some 47,000 people in over 90 countries have used the app to add and complete almost 4.3 million streets. While the app is available at no charge, users can elect to be supporters of the project for $5 a month. A story about Chevalier and CityStrides was published on May 12, 2022 in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Help Protect the Lauzier Farm on Alvord Street

Fundraising continues on the project to protect this 210-acre farm which 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, the Town continues to work in partnership with Kestrel Land Trust to raise a local match of $150,000. For more information on the campaign 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.

Reminders for Dog Owners

During these times where more of us are 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 is located near the Ledges Golf Club and 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.

Doo Your Duty! Help prevent water pollution and health risks caused by pet waste that can flow into storm drains, and the into rivers and streams. Take the Pick Up Poop (PUP) Pledge today, an initiative of Connecticut River Stormwater Committee! For details, visit: thinkblueconnecticutriver.org/pet-waste-management.

ValleyBike Share

ValleyBike Share (VBS) now offers service year round. In South Hadley, pedelec bikes are normally docked at three stations: 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). For current availability see: https://www.valleybike.org/map. Since 2021 Chicopee, West Springfield, and Westfield have joined Amherst and UMass, Easthampton, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley, and Springfield as VBS program communities.

For more information: https://valleybike.org/ or the ValleyBike Facebook page. If you have any difficulties or need additional information, contact VBS at: info@valleybike.org. For urgent matters, call VBS at: 1-877-460-2435.

South Hadley Hiking Trails

While dogs are allowed on Town trails and conservation areas, pets MUST be leashed (please note that dogs are not allowed at Town parks). 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 to dispose of, please take it home with you if there are no trash receptacles in the area or if they are full. If you’re out on our trails in town, please maintain safe social distancing when passing other hikers. 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, please send us a note to report the concern at, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com

River-to-Range Trail 

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

Street and Bike Lane Projects

Roadwork has continued throughout the summer on Route 33/Lyman Street for a new shared biking and walking path along Lyman Street, beginning south of the Route 116/Newton Street lights and extending to near Plains School. The project, which is nearing completion is anticipated to include some crossing areas with flashing beacons along the route and near the school.

Additional street reconstruction and resurfacing work on Route 116/Newton Street is planned by MassDOT in the area between Route 202 and the Kendrick Street intersection. The project 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.

MHC Grounds Open to the Public 

The outdoor grounds of the Mount Holyoke College campus has reopened to the community in onjunction with the state's Covid-19 guidance. All buildings continue to be closed to the public. Fishing is 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 are not bneeded while walking outdoors, but continue to required inside MHC buildings. For details, see the College's reopening advisory, as well the campus map and campus trail information.

Buttery Brook Park Facility Rentals

While Buttery Brook Park pavilions and other park facilities were not rented during the 2021 season due to the pandemic, the park has remained open to the public. Restrooms are currently closed and visitors are asked to carry out any trash (please note that dogs are not allowed at this park). The South Hadley 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. Please direct all inquiries about seasonal facilities and rentals to the South Hadley Recreation Department by email at recreation@southhadleyma.gov.  

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

Bike-Walk Committee Photo Gallery

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