ASHLEY RESERVOIR LETTERBOX:
WEST HOLYOKE, MASSACHUSETTS
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Planted: August 16, 2008
Length: Loop Trail; 3 ¾ 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.
To start from the Route 202 Gate; Take
exit 16 off of I-91 to Route 202 southwest. After passing by
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
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.
Left is a short cut across the reservoir on Old Whitney
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 ½
miles next to a grove of dying Red Pine trees.
If you continue straight for 0.2 miles
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.
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 ½
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 ¾ miles.
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED
NOVEMBER 8, 2011
TO EMAIL A VERIFICATION
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT