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 us at: bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.comFor more on biking in Massachusetts, visit: MassBike Pioneer Valley and www.massbike.org.

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 1:00pm and participants gather at 12:45pm. 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.

Guided Treks resume September, 2018

No Treks are scheduled during the months of June, July and August       
  
UPCOMING TREKS:
 
OCTOBER 2018
Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 1:00pm (meet at 12:45pm)
Black Stevens Conservation Area Guided Trek

The South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee invites the public on a guided trek of the recently cleaned-up Black Stevens Conservation Area on On Sunday, October 21 at 1:00 pm. Come explore the multi-trail system that crisscrosses the diverse and historic woods between the South Hadley High School and the Plains Elementary School. The approximately 1.5 hour trek is relatively flat, and we will hike over leaf-lined and dirt paths with several moderate ascents and descents.  

We will meet at 12:45pm at South Hadley High School, in the Student Drop-Off area parking lot at the far right end of the building, which is adjacent to the trailhead. The High School is located at 153 Newton Street (Route 116). Wear weather-appropriate clothing, safe footwear, and bring water and optional snacks. Post-trek, please join BWC members in the parking lot 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’s website (www.southhadley.org) for a Community News notification. 

For more information, please email: bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com.  

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2018
Trek details coming soon. 

A previous Trek map to download: 
Sidewalk Scenic Trail Trek-Senior Center/Black Stevens Loop (3-Pg PDF)

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

September Go4Life Stroll on the River to Range Trail was a great success! 
On behalf of the Bike-Walk Committee, the Council on Aging and the Planning/Conservation Department, thank you to everyone who participated in the Go4Life Stroll event held on Sunday, September 16, 2018 at the new River-To-Range Loop Trail off Ferry Street. We had a wonderful turnout with 80 members of the public enjoying this leisurely outing. Thanks to the very thoughtful generosity of those who participated, 91 pounds of food and $9.00 in cash donations were collected for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Pantry. Awesome!

In addition to the strollers, our community partners made this a very successful outing for all involved. Thanks to Big Y for its donation of 210 bottles of water, a very welcome refreshment during the warm afternoon; the Police Department for their patrol to ensure a safe start; the High School Culinary Program for their delicious cookies and granola bars, making for a sweet ending; our town’s DPW staff who prevailed with the challenges of weather and other issues in mowing the trail edges and parking lot; and Mount Holyoke College for its kindness and kinship in allowing us to use the circular driveway at their boathouse for much-needed overflow parking.

Our two volunteer interpreters, Leo Labonte (river historian) and Dennis Swartwout (flora expert) were “icing on the cake” by providing interesting info to the strollers who stopped at their leisure to chat and learn. We also greatly appreciate the many folks in town who are always willing to help spread the word about BWC trek events via their own distribution methods. Photographer Jim Armstrong was on hand to take pictures of the event, and some of the images can be found in the image slider at the bottom of the page. 

Lastly, a special shout-out to the Council on Aging’s Social Strollers, the twice-weekly walking group which is now up to a solid mile in their program; to Heidi Ragno’s High School AP Biology Class who recently planted native species along part of the trail; and to Bill Bacis, Conservation Commissioner, who raked the trail and weeded around the planted red maples. Kudos to all! 

The best part of the Stroll? As we’d hoped, it really did turn out to be an “all-ages, all-mobility, family-fun walk” for the participants who traversed the one-mile loop trail. We even had 4 dogs join in on the fun with their owners. Thank you, everyone!

Come and enjoy the new River to Range Trail! 

The Town of South Hadley recently celebrated 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, contact Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner at (413) 538-5017 x208 or acapra@southhadleyma.gov.

ValleyBike Share is ready to roll in South Hadley!

ValleyBike, the first bike share program in the Pioneer Valley–and the first pedal-assist bike share program in New England–is now available in South Hadley! With stations at the Town Common and Police Department, residents and members of the public will be able to use ValleyBike for green transportation while engaging in healthy recreation. ValleyBike allows members to pay for bikes by the trip, or join as a member for unlimited 45-minute rides by the day, month or year. Bikes come with carry baskets and helmets. Residents may sign up at www.ValleyBike.org. Special 'founding membership' opportunities are available for a very limited time. 

ValleyBike was initiated by Amherst, Northampton, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), and then quickly joined by Springfield, Holyoke, and South Hadley. The planning effort was led by PVPC, which identified the funding for planning. Leadership of the effort switched to Northampton for the implementation phase of the project. ValleyBike is funded by MassDOT/Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant, Bewegen investments, community investments in station pads, user fees, and its sponsors.

Special Note: BWC highly recommends that interested users sign up for the ValleyBike email newsletter, which will also provide important alerts and news about the program. Please visit the website for more information!  

For more information, visit: www.ValleyBike.org 

Black Stevens Conservation Area 
Town Conservation Commissioner and Planner Anne Capra has extended thanks to all those who volunteers at the June 13 Black Stevens Conservation Area cleanup sponsored by the South Hadley Conservation Commission, in partnership with the South Hadley Bike Walk Committee and the South Hadley High School. "In just a few hours," Capra noted, "we pulled 15 trash bags of garbage off the property, and identified a few areas with large items that need to be removed with some help. It was great to have all of the students working with us."

Trash has become a concern at Black Stevens, particularly along the property boundaries. The June 13 cleanup was undertaken as one of the management recommendations in the Conservation Commission's December 2017 Black Stevens Conservation Area Baseline Documentation Report. The draft report can be viewed on the Conservation Commission’s page of the town website at www.southhadley.org/299/Conservation-Commission

For more information, contact Conservation Administrator/Planner Anne Capra at (413) 538-5017 x208 or acapra@southhadleyma.gov.

Walk this way... the South Hadley Social Strollers

A new Social Strollers walking group was formed in June at the South Hadley Council on Aging Senior Center. Participation is free and a good pair of walking shoes and a desire for fresh air and fun is all that's needed. Following the Mayo Clinic’s best practices for walking clubs, experienced leaders will guide participants through the neighborhoods surrounding the Senior Center and beyond! Bike-Walk Committee member Huguette Supinski is the primary volunteer leading this group. Two sessions a week are currently scheduled, on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30am to 10:30am, with a goal of increasing walk time a bit during each session. The Senior Center is located at 45 Dayton Street in South Hadley, and parking is available.

For more information, contact Nancy at the South Hadley Senior Center at (413) 538-5042.  

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. Work on the trail is meant to begin this summer, with completion anticipated in early fall 2018. 

BWC Executive Summary-Toth Property Trail Concept 11/21/17 (8-pg PDF)

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
South Hadley Complete Streets Final Project List

New! Sidewalk/Scenic Trail Program (rescheduled from 12.10.17)  
Senior Center-Black Stevens Conservation Area Loop Guided Trek

Sunday, March 25, 2018       
Meet at 12:45pm (Trek begins at 1:00pm) at the Senior Center Parking Lot
45 Dayton Street, South Hadley MA

The South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee invites the public to the debut of its Sidewalk Scenic Trail Program with this Trek starting/ending at the Senior Center and connecting with the Black Stevens Conservation Area. The BWC’s new program combines walkable, sidewalk areas with vistas worth exploring in town. The BWC’s goal is to create additional sidewalk scenic trail routes to promote more mapped, walking opportunities in South Hadley. The roughly 90-minute event encompasses a 2.87-mile trail loop that begins with flat sidewalks from the Senior Center to the Plains Elementary School. Participants will then walk on marked, relatively flat, leaf-lined and dirt paths through wooded, historic Black Stevens to reach the sidewalks on Newton Street to return to the Senior Center.

Participants will meet at 12:45 p.m. at the South Hadley Council on Aging/Senior Center parking lot on 45 Dayton Street. Wear weather-appropriate clothing, safe footwear, and bring water and optional snacks. Post-Trek, please join BWC members in the parking lot for light refreshments and socializing! Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather conditions will force a cancellation (this Trek was originally scheduled for 12.10.17, but has been rescheduled to March rather than January in hope of finding both sidewalks and trail portions will be clear for our Trekkers). 
New! Sidewalk/Scenic Trail Program (rescheduled from 12.10.17)  
Senior Center-Black Stevens Conservation Area Loop Guided Trek

Sunday, March 25, 2018       
Meet at 12:45pm (Trek begins at 1:00pm) at the Senior Center Parking Lot
45 Dayton Street, South Hadley MA

The South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee invites the public to the debut of its Sidewalk Scenic Trail Program with this Trek starting/ending at the Senior Center and connecting with the Black Stevens Conservation Area. The BWC’s new program combines walkable, sidewalk areas with vistas worth exploring in town. The BWC’s goal is to create additional sidewalk scenic trail routes to promote more mapped, walking opportunities in South Hadley. The roughly 90-minute event encompasses a 2.87-mile trail loop that begins with flat sidewalks from the Senior Center to the Plains Elementary School. Participants will then walk on marked, relatively flat, leaf-lined and dirt paths through wooded, historic Black Stevens to reach the sidewalks on Newton Street to return to the Senior Center.

Participants will meet at 12:45 p.m. at the South Hadley Council on Aging/Senior Center parking lot on 45 Dayton Street. Wear weather-appropriate clothing, safe footwear, and bring water and optional snacks. Post-Trek, please join BWC members in the parking lot for light refreshments and socializing! Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather conditions will force a cancellation (this Trek was originally scheduled for 12.10.17, but has been rescheduled to March rather than January in hope of finding both sidewalks and trail portions will be clear for our Trekkers). 
New! Sidewalk/Scenic Trail Program (rescheduled from 12.10.17)  
Senior Center-Black Stevens Conservation Area Loop Guided Trek

Sunday, March 25, 2018       
Meet at 12:45pm (Trek begins at 1:00pm) at the Senior Center Parking Lot
45 Dayton Street, South Hadley MA

The South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee invites the public to the debut of its Sidewalk Scenic Trail Program with this Trek starting/ending at the Senior Center and connecting with the Black Stevens Conservation Area. The BWC’s new program combines walkable, sidewalk areas with vistas worth exploring in town. The BWC’s goal is to create additional sidewalk scenic trail routes to promote more mapped, walking opportunities in South Hadley. The roughly 90-minute event encompasses a 2.87-mile trail loop that begins with flat sidewalks from the Senior Center to the Plains Elementary School. Participants will then walk on marked, relatively flat, leaf-lined and dirt paths through wooded, historic Black Stevens to reach the sidewalks on Newton Street to return to the Senior Center.

Participants will meet at 12:45 p.m. at the South Hadley Council on Aging/Senior Center parking lot on 45 Dayton Street. Wear weather-appropriate clothing, safe footwear, and bring water and optional snacks. Post-Trek, please join BWC members in the parking lot for light refreshments and socializing! Non-enjoyable or hazardous inclement weather conditions will force a cancellation (this Trek was originally scheduled for 12.10.17, but has been rescheduled to March rather than January in hope of finding both sidewalks and trail portions will be clear for our Trekkers). 
Ledges Golf Course
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Meet at 12:45pm (Trek begins at 1:00pm) at the Ledges Parking Lot
18 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley MA (additional details TBA)

Plan A: With sufficient ground snow, this will be a snowshoe Trek  Plan B: With little or no ground snow, we will walk on golf paths to and from Newton-Jones-Carver Conservation Areas. Additional details to be announced.
Ledges Golf Course
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Meet at 12:45pm (Trek begins at 1:00pm) at the Ledges Parking Lot
18 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley MA (additional details TBA)

Plan A: With sufficient ground snow, this will be a snowshoe Trek  Plan B: With little or no ground snow, we will walk on golf paths to and from Newton-Jones-Carver Conservation Areas. Additional details to be announced.
Ledges Golf Course
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Meet at 12:45pm (Trek begins at 1:00pm) at the Ledges Parking Lot
18 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley MA (additional details TBA)

Plan A: With sufficient ground snow, this will be a snowshoe Trek  Plan B: With little or no ground snow, we will walk on golf paths to and from Newton-Jones-Carver Conservation Areas. Additional details to be announced.
Ledges Golf Course
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Meet at 12:45pm (Trek begins at 1:00pm) at the Ledges Parking Lot
18 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley MA (additional details TBA)

Plan A: With sufficient ground snow, this will be a snowshoe Trek  Plan B: With little or no ground snow, we will walk on golf paths to and from Newton-Jones-Carver Conservation Areas. Additional details to be announced.

Bike-Walk Committee Photo Gallery