The South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) 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, Recreation Department, 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 comprehensive plan for South Hadley.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bike/Walk Committee also works closely with the Recreation Department and you can reach out to them by email with questions or for information at email@example.com.
BWC is Seeking Five 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Dogs must be leashed on Town trails and Conservation areas. Please be sure to pick up any dog poop 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.
Mount Holyoke College Campus Remains Closed to the Public
Mount Holyoke campus buildings and grounds, including trails, remain closed to the public as of April 2021,. Campus buildings and grounds are open only to Mount Holyoke students residing on campus and faculty and staff with essential on-campus work. All athletic facilities are closed. Members of the Mount Holyoke community should carry their College-issued identification cards ("One Card") at all times. If someone is not a member of the MHC community and is on the campus, they will be asked to comply by immediately leaving the property. For more information, please visit the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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)
- December 2019: Forest Trail of the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area
- November 2019: Leaping Well Nature Trail
- October 2019 (Go4LifeStroll): River to Range Loop Trail
- September 2019: Project Stream Restoration Area at the MHC Campus
News and Notes
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
Free Tick Rollers and Masks for Trail Use
The South Hadley Recreation Department in collaboration with the Health Department has a free supply of masks to distribute, along with lint rollers that they received through a grant for tick control. If you’re interested in receiving the roller/mask set, please email the recreation department at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment to pick them up.
UMass-Amherst Tick Report Service
The University of Massachusetts College of Natural Sciences offers a Tick Report lab service for identification and testing for pathogens. For details, visit: https://www.tickreport.com
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: email@example.com. 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:
- South Hadley Complete Streets Prioritization Plan (PDF)
- South Hadley Complete Streets Final Project List (PDF)