Naomi

A super group of people like you helped make it possible for outdoor adventurers like me to ride the Accessibility Trail here in Mt. Tom State Reservation, Holyoke, MA. Thanks to people like you a smooth and fun-to-ride trail now extends along Lake Bray to the new 55 foot bridge behind me that they built. I’d love to be able to chair-ride with friends all the way around Lake Bray. With help from you and your friends, me and mine, we can make it happen. Want to know more? E-mail me at treble13@comcast.net.

Wildlife Management

041wildlifemanagementEast Mountain is the southerly extension of the basalt ridges that make up part of the Mt. Tom Range in Holyoke. The section of ridge that is called East Mountain extends from Route 141 in Holyoke and Easthampton south through West Springfield and Westfield to the Massachusetts Turnpike. This circumneutral ridge of basalt continues south well into Connecticut.

Four properties in Holyoke and one in Southampton make up DFW’s East Mountain and Southampton Wildlife Management Areas. North of Route 141, DFW owns a small parcel on the eastern slope of Mt. Tom itself (not shown on the map). A significant portion of East Mountain is owned by the Holyoke and West Springfield Water Departments, and other properties on East Mountain are protected by the City of Easthampton, the Connecticut River Watershed Council, and the Holyoke Conservation Commission.  Together with the Mt. Tom State Reservation and lands protected by the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge and The Trustees of Reservation on the Mt. Tom ridge, much of the exceptional habitat on Mt. Tom and East Mountain is protected from destruction through development.

More than twenty state-protected rare plants and animals have been documented from East Mountain, including Marbled Salamander (Threatened), Wood Turtle (Special Concern), Swamp Lousewort (Endangered), and Green Rock-cress (Threatened).

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail runs along the ridge-lines of East Mountain and Mt. Tom, including through DFW land. Hiking this trail will give you spectacular views west towards the Berkshire foothills and, more importantly, a sense of the exceptional richness of natural communities and unusual bedrock making up these basalt ridges.

Text and map courtesy of the official website of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs website.