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 on Zoom.
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.
BWC Treks are Back--Come and Join Us!
BWC members are looking forward to resuming our free, public Treks that were suspended during the pandemic, starting with two new Treks for Fall 2021. As in the past, Treks are scheduled on Sundays at 1:00pm with participants gathering at 12:45pm. We do not schedule Treks in June, July, and August. To be added to our mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All events are subject to change or cancellation due to weather.
Participants of all ages and new Trekkers are always welcomed!
10.31.21-Woodlawn Neighborhood Trek + Outdoor Fitness Stations
Our Halloween Trek through the in-town Woodlawn neighborhood offers an opportunity to check out recently installed fitness stations at the new South Hadley Senior Center. We will gather in the Senior Center outdoor patio seating area (to the left of the main entrance) at 12:45pm. The adjacent lot offers plenty of parking. Since it's Halloween, feel free to wear a costume (or not)! Bottled water and light snacks will be provided. Our neighborhood walk will include a tour of the five new outdoor fitness stations, then down Fulton and across Lyman Street for a walk around the quiet, shady streets of the Woodlawn area
- Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 1:00pm
Meet at 12:45pm at the outdoor patio area by the parking lot
South Hadley Senior Center, 45 Dayton Street, South Hadley
Woodlawn Trek Map and Outdoor Fitness Stations Guide
11.14.21-Mount Holyoke College Upper Lake and Boardwalk Trek
Plan to join us for a guided Trek with Dr. Olivia Aguilar of the MHC Miller Worley Center for the Environment. Participants will trek around the Upper Lake and Boardwalk area, which includes the environmental program's living classroom area. Save the date and watch for more details to come.
- Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 1:00pm
Meet at 12:45pm in the Lower Lake Rd parking area by Talcott Greenhouse
Mount Holyoke College, Park Street at Lower Lake Road, South Hadley
Trek Map to Come
Previous 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 Reservoir-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
11.10.21-Routes 202/33 Corridor Plan Draft Forum
The Planning and Conservation Department will host virtual community meeting on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 from 7-9pm, to seek input from residents about the recently released draft plan for the Route 202/33 corridor. To join the meeting online: bit.ly/corridorstudymeeting. People wishing to speak or submit comments/questions may use a Google Form link at bit.ly/corridorstudyform or submit bia email to: SHPlanBoard@southhadleyma.gov.
The draft plan can be viewed at https://southhadley.org/294/Planning-Documents.
Conservation Corps October 2021 Work Party Days
There are several exciting projects that need to be completed this fall. We will plan to be out for a few hours at each work party, maybe longer on the Saturday. If you are only available to volunteer in the morning or afternoon, we can work with your schedule. See below for project descriptions and other information. The autumn weather has been beautiful and we look forward to meeting you on the trail!
Volunteer Conservation Corps Work Party Dates are:
Tuesdays, October 12 and 19
Fridays, October 15, 22, and 29
Saturday, October 30 (rain date November 6)
Project 1 | New Kiosk Cleanups
1a--New Ludlow Road/Bynan Trailhead (light to moderate work); pruning back invasives and woody debris, trash cleanup.
1b--Lyman Terrace/Bynan Trailhead (light to moderate work); pruning back invasives and woody debris, general trail maintenance.
1c--Black Stevens Trailhead at Plains School/Granby Road (strenuous work); general clean up and mulching around the new kiosk. We need to remove the old kiosk using shovels and carry it out so it can be reused at another trailhead in the spring.
Project 2 | Leaping Well Nature Trail (moderate to strenuous work)
A new bench has been donated and installed at the top of the hill (straight up from the Newton Manor access point). We will need to carry up bags of mulch and landscape fabric (a wheelbarrow would make this easy). We can weed-whack and/or hand prune back the vegetation a bit, lay the fabric, and lay the mulch. I will bring the materials, tools, and one wheel barrow. Also general trail maintenance and pruning back any overgrowth. This would be a great project for 4-6 Conservation Corps members--maybe you have some friends that would interested in joining us that day!
Project 3 | Bachelor Brook North (strenuous work)
Clearing downed trees at Bachelor Brook North and general trail maintenance. There are a number of downed trees along the paths on the northern trails of Bachelor Brook, which could be cleared with a couple of good hand saws and a couple of sets of hands, as many of the trees need at least two people to move and/or saw in half. (Reminder--volunteers cannot use chainsaws on work party days). There is also one trail marker post that needs to be re-set in the ground. Please bring your favorite saw (we have a few to share) and hopefully we can get most of these downed trees off the trail. Bring your muscles!
To RSVP or for any questions, contact Conservation Administrator/Planner Rebekah Cornell: email@example.com.
Nature Walk with Jan Lamberg on October 9 at 9:15am
Are you ready to get outside and explore nature with others? The Gaylord Memorial Library, in collaboration with Jan Lamberg, a Bi-Lingual Family Support Specialist of the Support Network, on a guided nature walk through the Mount Holyoke College campus. Jan is a master birder, lover of nature, and a plethora of knowledge. She'll be pointing out birds, plants, and other animal species seen on the walk. Please remember to bring a water bottle, sun/bug protection (hat, sunscreen, repellent, etc.), and binoculars (if you have them).
- Saturday, October 9, 2021 (rain date: Oct 16)
Meet at 9:15am; walk begins at 9:30am
- Meet/leave from Gaylord Library, 47 College Street, South Hadley
- Register: http://www.eventkeeper.com/mars/xpages/S/SHADLEY/ekp.cfm?curOrg=SHADLEY#6761461
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, 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.
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.
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
MHC Grounds Reopened to the Public
The outdoor grounds of the Mount Holyoke College campus reopened 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. 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 were not rented during the 2021 season, though the park has remained open to the public. Restrooms are closed and visitors are asked to carry out any trash (please note that dogs are not allowed at this park). When 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.
Valley Rail News: Public Transport to Bradley Airport
On August 22nd, 2021, the Connecticut Department of Transportation inaugurated its new CTtransit Route 24 bus service between the Windsor Locks CT train station and Bradley International Airport. This new bus route, which operates only on weekdays at present, makes it possible — for the first time in many years — to use public transit to reach Bradley Airport from the Pioneer Valley region of western Massachusetts. CTtransit Route 24 service has been scheduled to connect with most — but not all — Hartford Line, Vermonter, and Valley Flyer trains at Windsor Locks station. Options for travel by rail to the Windsor Locks station from Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke and Springfield are detailed at: https://trainsinthevalley.org/how-to-get-to-bradely-airport-on-public-transit/.
South Hadley Social Strollers
The Social Strollers walking group resumed 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.
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 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. Dogs must be leashed on Town Trails and Conservation areas. Please 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.
If you’re out on our trails in town, please make sure to maintain safe social distancing and be prepared to put on your mask if you will be 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, etc., please send us a note to report the concern at, email email@example.com.
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.
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.
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 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.
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: