Bike-Walk Committee

Bike/Walk South Hadley logo
Mariann Millard Chair Term Expires: 2019
Melissa O'Brien Vice Chair Term Expires: 2019
Nancy Bozek Member Term Expires: 2019
Larry Dubois Member Term Expires: 2019
Lucia Foley Member Term Expires: 2019
Marilyn Gass Member Term Expires: 2019
Margaret Jodoin Member Term Expires: 2019
Huguette Supinski Member Term Expires: 2019



The South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee was first formed 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. Our goals include the development of bike/walk routes throughout our community and a safe connection between the Center and the Falls. We work with the Selectboard, Conservation Commission and other local groups, and connect with similar groups in our area and across the state. The Committee is working to support implementation of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission's bike/walk master plan for South Hadley. 

The Bike/Walk Committee normally meets at 7:00pm on the third Wednesday of the month at the South Hadley Public Library. The public is invited to attend these meetings. 

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

BWC is Seeking Two New Committee Members!

Want to be part of a fun, cohesive and productive group passionate about walking and biking in Town? Want to make a difference for current and future residents in their quality of life? Come join us as a volunteer committee member!  

As a Town-appointed advisory committee to the Selectboard, we meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 PM at the Main Library. Our meetings are never boring in our quest to improve and/or enhance walking and biking initiatives, and we partner often with other committees, commissions, groups and Town Hall. BWC committee members need to be residents of South Hadley. Questions? Please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com

An online application and information on other volunteer committee positions in South Hadley is available elsewhere on the Town website.

Join us for a Trek!

The Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) offers free, guided Treks from September to May and the public is invited to join us to explore local conservation lands and other resources. Treks are scheduled on Sundays at 1:00 pm and participants gather at 12:45 pm. No Treks are scheduled in June, July, and August. New Trekkers are always welcome! Schedule is subject to change and events may be canceled due to weather. 

For information or to receive notices about upcoming Treks, please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com


Guided Treks (September to May) 

UPCOMING TREKS:

MAY 2019 | Guided 'Community Connections' Walk-or-Bike Trek
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 1:00 to 3:00pm
Ashley Reservoir, Holyoke, MA
Meet at 12:45pm at the Elks Lodge parking lot, 250 Whitney Ave, Holyoke

For our last Trek this spring, come and explore the outdoors in a neighboring community! 

The BWC invites the public on a guided outing to Holyoke’s Ashley Reservoir on Sunday, May 19 at 1:00pm to inaugurate its new “Community Connections” trek program. Participants may either walk or bike the planned route and there will be a group leader for each mode. Valley Bike Share (VBS) will also be there for anyone 18 years and older to briefly try out on their own an electric-assist bicycle at no charge. Come to “connect” at the reservoir and discover the fascinating history and trails of a secondary water source for Holyoke, South Hadley’s neighboring city, while also respecting and protecting an environmental asset. This is a fun event for family and friends, no matter what age.

The approximately 60-90-minute trek on the reservoir’s main trail loop is 2.5 miles in length (the biking group will enjoy a slightly longer route around the reservoir). The main route is flat with only one minor, gradual ascent and descent. The trail surface is a mix of dirt and rock dust, which could be wet and muddy in places, depending on recent weather conditions. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear, and bring water and optional snacks.

Meet at 12:45 PM at Elks Lodge parking lot at 250 Whitney Ave, Holyoke. Directions from South Hadley: Take I-91 South, Exit 15. Stay to the right off the exit and continue on Lower Westfield Rd. Cross Homestead Ave. and take the first right onto Whitney Ave. Park in the lot closest to the reservoir gate (pass the Elks Lodge brick building on the right to enter this lot).

For the VBS bike tryout, please bring a bike helmet if possible; if not, a small number of bike helmets will be available.  
NO dogs are allowed (except for bona fide service dogs) due to the ecologically sensitive reservoir environment.

Please be aware that the reservoir gate is not designated as handicap-accessible, requiring participants to either pass underneath the gate arm or through the adjacent, narrow opening. Bikes will pass underneath the gate arm. Non-enjoyable (steady rain downpour) or hazardous inclement weather/conditions will force a cancellation; if that should appear necessary, please check the Town’s website (www.southhadley.org) for a Community News notification.

For more information on Ashley Reservoir and ValleyBike Share, visit: www.holyoke.org/ashley-reservoir and www.valleybike.org.

Ashley Reservoir-Holyoke Trek Map (PDF)

Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather/conditions will force a cancellation; if that should appear necessary, please check the Town's website (www.southhadley.org) for a Community News notification.

No Treks are scheduled in June, July, and August; Treks resume in September. 


Trek maps to download:

Visit the Conservation Lands section of the website for more Trail Maps of South Hadley conservation lands. 

To receive notices with details about upcoming Treks, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com.  


News and Notes

Conservation Lands

Kudos to Conservation Administrator/Planner Anne Capra for all of her hard work to date to finalize maps (see our list of Trek maps above), as well as to roll out the initial Baseline Documentation Report for the Black Stevens Conservation Area with more planned for the rest of our town's conservation lands.

For more information, please visit the Project Plans page.

South Hadley Master Plan and Open Space and Recreation Plan Updates        

The Town of South Hadley is updating its Master Plan and its Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP). The plans will establish a vision for the future of South Hadley and cover a wide range of topics including housing, transportation, economic development, land use and zoning, open space, natural resources, and municipal services. Input from community members will help shape the development of both plans.

ATTEND COMMUNITY FORUMS

Many residents have participated in first two community forums and recap sessions to share their thoughts and ideas about our town though fun activities and mapping exercises. It's a great way to meet neighbors and learn about our town, and everyone is invited!

For those who were unable to attend the April 24 Forum (Topic: People, Prosperity, Housing, and Connections), you can still get involved by attending a recap session conducted by the Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC). See the schedule below. The last spring meeting, on Sustainability and Resiliency, will be held on May 29 at Town Hall Auditorium. Save the date and plan to come, then watch for two follow-up sessions in early fall. 

UPCOMING DATES:

Forum 4--May 29, 2019 | Wednesday, 6-8pm | Town Hall Auditorium
Sustainability and Resiliency

Forum 4--Follow-Up Sessions 
Sustainability and Resiliency
  Schedule To Be Announced  

Details about the project, including Forum and Recap Session dates/locations can found at the project website, and additional information will be posted as it becomes available during the plan updating process: southhadleyplans.com.

The Livable Communities Survey will be available online until May in conjunction with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s Age-Friendly Community initiative. Please consider taking the survey, available in English or Spanish, to give us your thoughts on living in South Hadley. Data from this survey will also help to inform plan updates. 

River to Range Trail

Last fall, the Town of South Hadley was pleased to celebrate the opening of the River to Range Trail at the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area. The new one-mile accessible loop trail 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.

River to Range Trail at Bachelor Brook-Stoney Brook Conservation Area Adjacent to 240 Ferry Street, South Hadley
(one-mile accessible loop trail and trailhead parking lot)

Planning and design of the River to Range Trail was completed under a Scenic Byways Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission as part of the Connecticut River Scenic Byway Recreational Access Project. Construction of the trail was completed with a Recreational Trails Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to the Town of South Hadley, with matching funds provided by the Town of South Hadley and Mount Holyoke College. The new loop represents the first phase of a three-phase scenic trail project, for which grants and other matching funds have already been secured.

For more information, email Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner or call (413) 538-5017 x208.

Leaping Well Nature Trail

On January 10, 2018, Town Meeting voted to move forward on the BWC proposal to create a small neighborhood trail system on the former Toth property now owned by the Town. The Leaping Well Trail name is taken from the Leaping Well Brook on the property. On October 22, 2018 the Town announced that work on the trail would be beginning shortly. Contractors will use the Newton Street entrance for staging and initial access purposes only. Once the project is complete, the public entrance will be on Mosier Street.

Questions? Email Town Administrator Michael Sullivan.

WWLP-22News: New pedestrian trail coming to South Hadley (video) 10/23/18
Leaping Well Nature Trail Construction Announcement 10/22/18
BWC Executive Summary-Toth Property Trail Concept (PDF) 11/21/17

South Hadley Social Strollers Group

The Social Strollers walking group has resumed for the spring. The group, which was formed in June 2018, offers experienced leaders to guide participants through the neighborhoods surrounding the Senior 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 is the primary volunteer leading this group. For more information, contact Nancy at the South Hadley Senior Center at (413) 538-5042. 

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:

Bike-Walk Committee Photo Gallery

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