About NeVar

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In the future this website's mascot and spokes-raven, NeVar, will tell stories about the Mt. Tom Range, particularly the Mt. Tom Area.

Ravens have been followers of our kind longer than recorded history and are a rich part of our folklore. To Indigenous Americans ravens are revered noble spirits: intelligent, adaptable, sociable.

And so the common raven was chosen to tell the story of the Mt. Tom Range and why the ridge that makes up the spine of Holyoke, Massachusetts, should be preserved largely as undeveloped open space.

Beau Bridges Trail and Kay

Kay hammering

Beau Bridges Trail is know for the seven bridges crossing Cascade Brook.  They were built by Kay Burnett and friends. Kay discovered the wonders of the Mt. Tom State Reservation sometime in the 1950’s and quickly acquired a reputation for being a skilled trail builder and maintainer. Probably her best work was the Beau Bridges Trail that includes a series of seven bridges crossing Cascade Brook. Kay and her friends pre-fabricated the bridges in Kay’s garage and these women backpacked the materials to the site where the bridges were constructed and put into place. Although another trail, the K-B Trail, bears her name, Beau Bridges was her favorite. For many years Kay served as a guiding force on the Mt. Tom Citizens Advisory Committee. When not tending to the trails, Kay served as the Chair of the Berkshire Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, as well as the editor of the chapter’s newsletter. Kay was the Associate Librarian at Smith College’s Josten Library in Northampton for nearly 40 years. Her specialty was in the field of music cataloging, and she received several national awards acknowledging her expertise and influence in this field.   Kay was named “The Trails Lady” for her dedication to Mt. Tom’s 22 miles of trails.  For more about Kay, stop in at the Mt. Tom State Reservation Visitor Center.