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- Bike-Walk Committee
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.
Term expires: 2023
Term expires: 2023
Term expires: 2023
Term expires: 2023
Term expires: 2023
Term expires: 2023
Term expires: 2023
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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
New Bike/Walk Committee members
We're delighted to welcome two new members who were recently appointed by the Selectboard. New members bring ideas and energy and are always welcomed. If you are 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, please consider applying to serve on the Bike/Walk Committee.
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!
South Hadley Historic Walks
One of the projects that the Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) has been tasked with in the most recent Master Plan Update is helping to develop Historic Walks. If you have an interest in history, local stories, and connecting our present landscape to its past, please consider assisting with this project, either as a volunteer or a BWC member. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org (Attention: Lucia Foley).
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 email@example.com.
Guided Earth Day Trek at Bynan Conservation Area
SATURDAY, April 22, 2023 at 1:00pm (meet at 12:45pm)
Bynan Conservation Area, South Hadley MA (GPS/address to come)
The public is invited to celebrate our natural world and explore Bynan and its vernal pools on a special SATURDAY Trek with South Hadley's Conservation Administrator, Rebekah Cornell. Save the date (and plan to bring a trash back to pick up any refuse found along the Trek route). Watch for more details to come!
Guided Ledges Golf Course Trek--TREK IS ON (see update below)
Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 1:00pm (meet by the Clubhouse at 12:45pm)
Ledges Golf Club, 18 Mulligan Road, South Hadley MA
Ledges Golf Course-Trek Routes Map (PDF)
- 9:45am TREK UPDATE: Based on today's forecast for temps in the thirties and 15% chance of precipitation this afternoon, we are planning to be at the Ledges at 12:45pm for today's Trek. Please be aware that it may be slippery and there might be some ice be underneath the new snowfall; if conditions at 1:00pm are judged to be hazardous, we may elect to cancel at that time or do a shorter and flatter route. Participants should dress for cold weather, wear boots, and bring poles. Snowshoes, if you have them, are also helpful.
Join us for a guided Trek at South Hadley's town-owned Ledges Golf Club. Winter is a great time to walk the course, using paths normally reserved for golfing carts. During the off season the paths may be enjoyed for exercise, photography, and views of the area, including Mount Tom on the other side of the Connecticut River. The grounds offer an opportunity for safe, non-vehicular passive recreation, such as walking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Visitors should avoid the tees and greens, and be careful not to damage fairway areas.
Meet at 12:45pm in front of the Ledges Clubhouse. Parking is available in the Club’s parking lot, located on the right before the circle by the Clubhouse. Our route will be based on conditions at the time of the Trek, as some areas can be muddy and icy in winter. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear, and bring water and walking poles, if desired. Please be aware that the club facilities, including restrooms, are closed for the season. Participants of all ages and 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.
Previous Trek maps and information
- 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 (MCH) Campus Map: map.mtholyoke.edu
- MHC-Campus Living Laboratory
- MHC-Project Stream Boardwalk
- Ledges Golf Course-Paths Map (PDF)
- Ledges Golf Course-Trek Routes 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 in Holyoke Trek (PDF)
- Woodlawn Neighborhood Trek Map and
Senior Center Outdoor Fitness Stations Guide (PDF)
- South Hadley Conservation and Recreation Areas Map (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
- REI Learning-Bike Maintenance Videos and Informational Materials
- REI Learning-Outdoor Topics Dashboard
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (please add 'Attn: Lucia Foley/Community Seating' in the subject line).
News and Notes
Western Mass Rail Meetings on March 21, 2023
Area residents are urged to attend one of the LAST two public meetings that the legislature’s Western Massachusetts Passenger Rail Commission will host in our region. Two meetings on Western Mass Rail will be held on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 and participants may attend either in person or via Zoom for public comment from area residents. A meeting in Northampton will be held at 1:00pm at Senior Center, 67 Conz Street (and also via Zoom) and the Springfield meeting will be at 6pm at the Top of Our City/Scibelli Hall Conference Center at STCC, 1 Armory Square. Attendance is important because interest is gauged by attendance and/or submitting comments. For more details, Zoom links, and other information, see: https://trainsinthevalley.org/2023/03/14/1chance-tuesday-march-21st/
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 email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.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 (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: firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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