Mt. Holyoke Range
1500 West St.
Rising roughly 1,000 feet in elevation, Mt. Holyoke
Range State Park straddles the seven-mile ridge that runs from Hadley
to Belchertown. The ridge is a patchwork of state, town and private
lands. Parcels acquired by the state since the 1970's bring the
park to over 3,000 acres. The Notch Visitor Center, located on Route
116 in Amherst, is open daily. Displays and interpretive programs
are available in season. The park's Friends group offers hikes and
programs throughout the year.
The Mt. Holyoke Range formed some 200 million
years ago when lava flowed from the valley floor, cooled and was
upended. More recently, glaciers left their signature, scouring
the ridge's jagged edges smooth in some places, exposing bedrock,
or depositing till, sand, clay or muck in others. Since early days,
settlers used all but the sheerest inclines for woodlots and pastures.
Now mostly wooded, the ridge's steep slopes and east-west orientation
create a number of forest types, including birch-beech-hemlock on
the north side and oak-hickory on the south. Thickets, streams,
ponds, and wetlands add to the diversity. Over 30 miles of marked
trails provide a variety of outdoor experiences including hiking,
walking, viewing vistas, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback
riding and hunting.
Download printable version (pdf)
Mt. Holyoke Range SP - The Notch: 1500 West St. Amherst, MA (413)253-2883
The park is located in the central Ct River valley.
FROM THE WEST:
1. Head east on I-90 E
2. Take exit 4 for /I-91 toward Holyoke/Springfield - 0.6 mi
3. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-91 and merge onto I-91 N -3.1 mi
4. Take exit 16 to merge onto Cherry St- Continue -1.9 mi
5. At Beech St, take the 2nd exit and stay on US-202N - 0.8 mi
6. At Purple Heart Drive Rotary, take the 2nd exit onto Purple Heart Dr/US-202N - 0.7 mi
7. Exit onto Lamb St/MA-116N - Continue to follow MA-116N.
8. Park will be on the right - 7.4 mi
FROM THE EAST:
1. Head west on I-90 W
2. Take exit 5 for I-90 toward Chicopee - 0.3 mi
3. Keep right at the fork to continue toward Memorial Dr - 0.2 mi
4. Turn left at MA-33N/Memorial Dr - Continue to follow MA-33N - .6 mi
5. Turn right at MA-116N/Newton St - Continue to follow MA-116N.
6. Park will be on the right - 6.2 mi
FROM THE NORTH:
1. Take I-91 S
2. Take exit 20 to merge onto N King St toward Northampton- 0.4 mi
3. Turn left at Damon Rd - 1.0 mi
4. Turn left at Bridge St/MA-9W - Continue to follow MA-9W - 1.8 mi
5. Turn right at MA-47S/Middle St - 0.5 mi
6. Turn left at Bay Rd- 0.6 mi
7. Take the 2nd left onto Bay Rd - 2.9 mi
8. Turn right at MA-116S/West St. (Atkins store will be on left).
9. Park will be on the left - 1.1 mi
FROM THE SOUTH:
1. Take I-91 N
2. Take exit 12 to merge onto I-391 N - 5.2 mi
3. Turn right at Beech St/US-202N - 0.8 mi
4. At Beech St, take the 2nd exit onto US-202N - 0.8 mi
5. At Purple Heart Drive Rotary, take the 2nd exit onto Purple Heart Dr/US-202N - 0.7 mi
6. Exit onto Lamb St/MA-116N - Continue to follow MA-116N.
7. Park will be on the right - 7.4 mi