Hiking, Picnics & Family Fun!

HADLEY Mass. (Mass Appeal)  Mass Appeal was LIVE at Skinner State Park in Hadley showing you how beautiful it is at the top of the mountain!

Watch hiking safety tips with Josh Knox from the Trustees of Reservations

Hear Matthew Villamaino, an interpreter for Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) talk about Skinner State Park and it’s history

See Seth climb Mt. Tom in Holyoke

See how to create the ideal picnic foods (finger sandwiches, meat platters and no-mayo potato salad) with John Slattery from Four Main Street in Huntington.

About Skinner State Park:

J.A. Skinner State Park is home to more than 400 acres of forest on Mt. Holyoke, as well as the historic Mt. Holyoke Summit House. The park is located at the western end of the Holyoke Range, abutting the majestic Connecticut River. The park offers multiple hiking trails and breathtaking views of the Connecticut River Valley from multiple vistas. The summit of Mt. Holyoke is accessible by walking the road or hiking along the trails year-round.


There are 20 picnic sites on the grounds, many with fine views and charcoal grills. Restrooms are available May through mid-October. Hawk watching is popular in spring and fall. Paths from the Summit House connect with marked trails that traverse the Holyoke Range. Fall foliage viewing is popular in the park, and the masses of flowering mountain laurel present a lovely spectacle in June.

Picnicking: The picnic area at the summit of Mt Holyoke has 13 picnic tables and grills many with spectacular views of the valley below. Please remember that all Massachusetts State Parks have a “carry in carry out” policy and you will need to remove any rubbish you bring in.

Hiking: Hiking is a great way to get to the summit house at all times of the year. Trailheads are located at the main gate and off route 47(see trail map). Most of the 7.5 miles of trail are moderate to strenuous in difficulty. Winter hikers should be prepared for ice or deep snow.

Mountain Biking: While the steep terrain makes the mountain biking difficult it is allowed on all but the white blazed Metacomet-Monadnock trail.

Snow Shoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: None of the trails are groomed, but back-country skiing is available on some of the trails. Snow Shoes are a good option in deep snow conditions.

Hang Gliding and Paragliding: Hang glider and and Paraglider pilots are required to be licensed by USHPA at class III or higher. A yearly permit and daily sign in is also required. Permits and sign in logs can be found in the brown box affixed to the west side of the Halfway Garage.

Scenic Viewing: From the summit of Mt Holyoke one can enjoy spectacular views of the New England landscape. From the farm fields of the Connecticut River Valley to the mountains of four states the sights are amazing for a mountain of a mere 942 feet.

Snowmobiling: Snowmobiles are the only permitted off road use, and is limited to 4” or more of hard packed snow. Snowmobiles are not allowed on plowed surfaces at any time.

Skateboards, Roller Skates, and Skates are prohibited on all park roads and trails.

Motorized Wheeled Vehicles, ATVs, Off-road Motorcycles are prohibited from all park trails and unpaved roads.

Hiking Safety Tips:

  • Have a plan
  • Inform someone of where you’re going and
  • when you plan to return
  • Keep a flashlight and whistle with you
  • Eat well, stay hydrated: carry plenty of water
  • Stay on the trail
  • Ask for HELP!
  • Familiarize yourself with the area, use a map
  • Expect changes in the weather

Comments are closed.