ASHLEY RESERVOIR LETTERBOX:

WEST HOLYOKE, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Planted:                August 16, 2008

Length:                Loop Trail; 3 miles

                              Loop Trail and spur trails combined; about 6 miles

                              Route 202 Gate to Letterbox; 1.4 miles                            

Difficulty:            Easy. Mostly flat, Stone-dust trail.                            

Directions:

To start from the Route 202 Gate; Take exit 16 off of I-91 to Route 202 southwest. After passing by Holyoke Community College on your right, you'll come to a traffic light at the intersection of Homestead Ave and Westfield Road (Route 202). Turn right following Route 202 and travel 0.2 miles. On your left will be the entrance to the reservoir (no sign). Park outside the gate.

Ashley Reservoir is part of the West Holyoke Water Works and appears to include several different bodies of water that the trail passes through. These include; Ashley Pond, Wright Pond, Cedar Pond, Clear Pond and Connor Reservoir. This is a very scenic trail with plenty of water fowl, turtles, lily pads and reeds. There are a total of four gates leading into the reservoir, but the easiest to access is the Route 202 entrance.

Starting from the Route 202 Gate; Head past the Iron Gate and down the wide stone-dust trail. You'll come to a brick wall that reads Holyoke Water Works 1907 and an intersection. Head to your right on Old Westfield Rd and you'll come to your first causeway crossing. Clear Pond is on your right and Wright Pond is to your left. After you reach land, a slight hill will take you up past two water tanks and a fork in the trail at 0.6 miles.

Note; Left is a short cut across the reservoir on Old Whitney Ave.

Continue straight past the brick building along Old Westfield Rd. The trail is briefly paved here. Notice the utility poles as the trail heads straight through the woodland and away from the water. Note the number sequence on the poles; 1657-#. You are looking for #63 which will be on your left at 1.4 miles. From this pole, continue along the trail for 12 more paces (2 steps = 1 pace). If you crossed a small culvert with a cement post along your right, you went too far. Turn and face the right side of the trail and you'll be looking at a small knoll. Look for a small boulder at about head height. Go to its backside and spot a flat rock. Underneath this rock is the Ashley Reservoir Letterbox. Continuing along the trail, after you pass by a spillway, bear left up a side trail to check out the stone building built in 1897. We saw lots of ducks, geese and other birds in Ashley Pond here. The trail now loops back along the east side of Ashley Pond following Old Lower Westfield Rd. Lots of turtles sunning themselves here. Note the railroad tracks along the trail. You cross a short causeway at 2.1 miles and then another with Connor Reservoir along your right. This brings you to another intersection at 2 miles next to a grove of dying Red Pine trees.

Note; If you continue straight for 0.2 miles following Old Lower Westfield Rd you will come to the Lower Westfield Road Gate.

Head left along the trail and you'll soon come to a long causeway with Ashley Pond on your left and Ashley Cutoff on your right. This brings you to an intersection with Old Whitney Ave. Wright Pond lies aheadt.

Note; Left along Old Whitney Ave takes you 0.3 miles back to the water towers on Old Westfield Rd. Right along Old Whitney Ave takes 0.4 miles to the Whitney Ave Gate.

Continue straight along the causeway and back to land where you'll come to T intersection at 3 miles.

Note; Right takes you 0.2 miles past two more water tanks to the Homestead Ave Gate.

Head left and you'll return to Old Westfield Rd and the brick wall reading Holyoke Water Works 1907. A right will deliver you back to the Route 202 Gate at 3 miles.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR MAP

 

LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED

OCTOBER 13, 2014

TO EMAIL A VERIFICATION

letterbox@snet.net 

 

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