Bike-Walk Committee

Bike/Walk South Hadley logo
Mariann Millard Chair Term Expires: 2020
Melissa O'Brien Vice Chair Term Expires: 2020
Nancy Bozek Member Term Expires: 2020
Larry Dubois Member Term Expires: 2020
Lucia Foley Member Term Expires: 2020
Marilyn Gass Member Term Expires: 2020
Carol Gillis Member Term Expires: 2020
Margaret Jodoin Member Term Expires: 2020
 




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 a New Committee Member

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. New Trekkers are always welcome! No Treks are scheduled in June, July, and August. 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


UPCOMING TREKS


Our December 8 Trek has been cancelled as the trailhead parking lots will not be cleared of snow from the recent storms and there is no safe place for vehicles.

CANCELLED--Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 1:00pm
Bachelor Brook Forest Trail Guided Trek

  • The improved Forest Trail of the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area, which also connects to the River-To-Range (R2R) Loop Trail, has been reconfigured and provides a more robust hiking experience for this trail network. The dirt and leaf-lined trail is almost two miles roundtrip in length and consists of flat portions and a few moderate and steep steady ascents and descents. Being in good physical condition to handle the terrain is necessary. Walking poles would be beneficial for those who are comfortable using them.  
  • Meet at 12:45pm at the trail’s dedicated parking lot on Hadley Street-Rt. 47  (located at the bottom of the hill just past the Town Athletic Fields and Town Garden). From there, the trail will be walked in its entirety to the R2R Loop Trail with a return to the parking lot. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear (be prepared for some possible wet conditions), and bring water. 
  • Post-trek, please join BWC members for light refreshments and socializing. Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather/conditions will force a cancellation; if canceled, a Community News Alert will be posted on the South Hadley Town website (southhadley.org) and the event will be rescheduled for a future date.
  • Bachelor-Stoney Brook and River-to-Range Trail Maps (PDF)

Sunday, NOVEMBER 17, 2019 at 1:00pm
Official Opening and Trek at Leaping Well Nature Trail Loop 

  • The new Leaping Well Nature Trail is the newest addition to South Hadley's ever-improving trail system on town-owned land, and is located on the 21-acre former Toth property behind Mosier Elementary School on Mosier Street. Several members of the Toth family plan to join Bike-Walk Committee members for this 'official opening' to acknowledge and thank the many town officials, employees, residents and volunteers who made the nature trail possible.   
  • Meet at 12:45pm just beyond the trailhead kiosk at the trail entrance to the woods. Please park in the large Mosier School parking lot at 101 Mosier Street, South Hadley, as the lot adjacent to the trailhead has limited parking. Our new 0.66 mile gem of a neighborhood trail consists of natural surfaces (grass, dirt, wood chips), 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. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear (be prepared for some possible wet conditions), and bring water. 
  • Post-trek, please join BWC members and the Toth family for light refreshments and socializing. Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather/conditions will force a cancellation; if canceled, a Community News Alert will be posted on the South Hadley Town website (southhadley.org) and the event will be rescheduled for a future date.
  • Leaping Well Nature Trail Map 
  • Leaping Well Trek Flyer

Sunday, OCTOBER 20, 2019 at 1:00pm (meet at 12:45pm)
Go4Life Stroll on the River-to-Range Loop Trail 

Presented by South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee (BWC) in partnership
with the Council On Aging and the Planning/Conservation Department

  • Our 3rd annual All-Ages, All-Abilities Family Fun Walk has been designed with everyone in mind. The one-mile trail offers beautiful woodland and field views, and seasonal views of the Connecticut River. The trail has been designed to accommodate mobility at all levels, and features an easily traversed surface. BWC members will be available to escort strollers, if desired, as they travel at their own pace on the trail.
  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Pantry 100+ Pounds Challenge
    There is no charge for participation, but if you are able please bring a non-perishable food donation and help break last year’s record of 90 lbs!
  • Guest interpreters will be stationed at each of the four rest/bench areas; strollers can stop along the way to learn and be entertained while traversing the trail at their own pace. These include: Denise Barry, Yang Style Tai Chi Instructor on Healthful Exercise Moves (Station 1); Leo Labonte, Local Historian on the Connecticut River (Station 2); Tom Clark, Director/Curator of MHC Botanic Garden on Area Flora (Station 3), and; Dan Ziomek of 93.9 The River's ‘Birdsongs’ radio program on Local Birds and Their Voices (Station 4).
  • Meet at 12:45pm at the entrance to the River-to-Range Loop Trail, located at the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area on Ferry Street (adjacent to the Mount Holyoke College Boathouse at 240 Ferry Street). Parking is available at the small lot located near the start of the trail and in the MHC Boathouse circular driveway. Car-pooling is encouraged to maximize available spaces. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear, and bring water. Everyone is invited to stay and socialize after the Stroll; water donated by Big Y and healthy snacks prepared by the South Hadley High School Culinary Program will be available.
  • Rain date: Sunday, October 27 at 1:00pm. Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather/conditions will force a cancellation; if that should appear necessary, a Community News notice will be posted after 10:00am on the Town website (southhadley.org) and the event will be rescheduled for the following Sunday.
  • 2019 Go4Life Stroll Flyer
  • River to Range Trail Map (also includes Bachelor-Stoney Brook trails) 

Sunday, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 at 1:00pm (meet at 12:45pm)
Project Stream Presentation and Public Trek at MHC
 

  • Join us for a special presentation and Trek on the Mount Holyoke Campus to walk through the boardwalk section of Project Stream, including its newly completed sections, and explore the Upper Lake trails on the campus. Project Stream is a real-life restoration project at the heart of the Restoration Ecology Program at MHC. Come discover the serenity of the little-known woods, the grand openness of the equestrian cross-country field and the many moods of Stony Brook. A special, on-site presentation on the positive progress and results of Project Stream will be given by either Kate Ballantine, Marjorie Fisher Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, or Carey Lang, Assistant Director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment. The public can choose to participate in only the Project Stream portion of the event.
  • Following the brief talk, the Trek will continue on the MHC trails, led by BWC members. The approximately 90-minute Trek is about 2 miles in length and consists of leaf-lined and dirt paths with only a few minor-moderate ascents and descents. The Project Stream boardwalk is ADA-accessible and meanders through forested wetlands alongside the stream.
  • Meet at 12:45 pm at the entrance of the Kendall Sports and Dance Complex. Park in the Complex’s parking lot, accessed via Dunlap Place off Rt. 116/Woodbridge Street (the Post Office and the Fire District #2 building are on the opposite side of the street). Wear weather-appropriate clothing and safe footwear, and bring water. Post-trek, please join BWC members for light refreshments and socializing. Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather/conditions will force a cancellation; if that should appear necessary, please check the Town website (southhadley.org) for a Community News notification.
  • Project Stream Trek Flyer
    MHC map: mtholyoke.edu/campusmap

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

New ValleyBike station opens near Woodlawn Plaza

ValleyBike is continuing to grow in South Hadley! The newest bike station opened recently at 494 Newton Street, outside PeoplesBank, across from Woodlawn Plaza. The new, which is on Route 116 just north of the lights at Route 33, is fully stocked with bikes ready to rent.

ValleyBike Share sets you free to explore Pioneer Valley (Amherst, UMass campus, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley and Springfield) on two wheels . These communities, along with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, have contracted a collaboration and partnership with Bewegen Technologies and Corps Logistics to bring bike share to our region. To meet Pioneer Valley’s unique challenges, ValleyBike Share is designed to promote short bike trips within core communities, where clusters of large employers, colleges, shopping, tourist destinations and residents can readily be connected. Learn more at www.valleybike.org or on the ValleyBike Facebook page.

South Hadley Volunteer Conservation Corps 

Many kudos and a big thank-you to Conservation Administrator/Planner Anne Capra and her recently formed Volunteer Conservation Corps. The Volunteer Conservation Corps 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.

Staff writer Dalton Zbierski of the Town Reminder recently reported on the South Hadley Conservation Corps and partnerships among Town stakeholders:
8/16/2019--Pg 2: Land stewardship grows through interdepartmental efforts

Email acapra@southhadleyma.gov with your name/contact information to be apprised of ongoing opportunities. Any task you can do and any time you can give are valuable.

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 former Toth property owned by the Town. The Trail name is taken from the Leaping Well Brook on the property. 

Staff writer Dalton Zbierski recently reported on the Trail in the Town Reminder:
8/2/2019--Pg 1: Residents Maintain Leaping Well Nature Trail

Work on the trail started last fall and has continued through the spring and summer, with mulch and wood chips added to improve the trail's surface and experience of using it. 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 temporary kiosk sign was put in place in the spring in advance of a permanent sign due later in the summer. The public entrance and a small, crescent-shaped parking lot are located on Mosier Street.

We are grateful for all the volunteers who have worked with at the Leaping Well Nature Trail in recent months, including the Brownie and Junior Girl Scout Troop 40398 led by Michelle Wolfe and Laurie and Brian Dimock.

Previous news on the Leaping Well Nature Trail:
WWLP-22News: New pedestrian trail coming to South Hadley (video) 10/23/18

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

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, 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.

New Valley Flyer Train Service along the Knowledge Corridor

Amtrak and MassDOT launched a new state-supported pilot program on August 30, 2019 offering 7-day a week passenger service between Greenfield and New Haven with scheduled connections to NYC. In the Valley, trains will make station stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield. The service, which is designed to allow riders to travel south to NYC in the morning and return by train in the evening, will be provided until fall 2021 on a pilot basis. If annual ridership goals are met, the service will continue and could be expanded. The Holyoke train stop at 74 Main Street in Holyoke is a short bike ride from South Hadley; the R29 Holyoke/Amherst Route 116 bus stops across the street; free parking and cab services are also available.

Tickets are now available and can be found on Amtrak.com, the Amtrak app, Amtrak ticket desks and kiosks, and through 1-800-USA-RAIL. A 25% discounoff the Amtrak 'Value' or 'Flexible' fare is available when traveling on the Valley Flyer until October 31, 2019. To use the discount, enter Promo Code v459 when booking a your ticket. 

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

Planned work on Newton Street in the area between Route 202 and the Kendrick Street intersection will bring 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, where construction will begin soon on the new South Hadley Senior Center. More: Additional Project Details

Bike/Walk Committee at Middle School Health Fair 

Grade 8 students from Michael E. Smith Middle School organized a Health Fair on May 30 featuring student exhibits, local officials, and others involved with various aspects of health in the community. A display by Grade 8 student Esther Ngure, who helped coordinate the event, showcased the work of Bike-Walk Committee, and some BWC members were on hand to talk with students and see their handiwork. More: www.townreminder.turley.com/tr-archives/tr06.07.19.pdf

South Hadley Social Strollers 

The Social Strollers walking group program at the Senior Center 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 is a primary volunteer leader for the program. For more information, call 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:

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission's
South Hadley Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

The South Hadley Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is complete. The report 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.

Bike-Walk Committee Photo Gallery

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