Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for new places to go, or you’re new to getting out on the many trails in the Valley, having a map to guide you can make the experience more enjoyable. Kestrel’s Trails for Everyone maps provide a basic guide that anyone can use for exploring nature on protected conservation areas and public trails around the Valley, and over the next year, we’ll be adding more places to explore.
We’re pleased to introduce five new recommended-route trail maps in Amherst, Pelham, Hadley, and Sunderland. This includes the grand opening of the new Sweet Alice Pond Loop trail that surrounds Kestrel’s new “Home on the Range.” You may even discover there’s a place close to home that you didn’t know about!
These trail maps offer a suggested walking route for each location that can be completed in about an hour or less. They provide highlights to look for along the way, as well as parking tips and other things to know. These routes don’t require any special gear other than walking shoes, and can be enjoyed by all members of the family.
1. Sweet Alice Conservation Area Pond Loop Trail (Amherst): Come check out the lovely pond and view of the Mount Holyoke Range where Kestrel now has our headquarters.
2. Podick/Katherine Cole/Szala Conservation Areas & Food Bank Farm (Amherst/Hadley): Explore beautiful mature woods, streams, and meadows at the conservation area that was Kestrel’s first project more than 50 years ago, and now connects to the picturesque new Food Bank Farm.
3. Buffam Brook Community Forest (Pelham): Winding through woodlands with trees of many sizes and ages, a network of formal and informal hiking trails includes a short hike to a historic quarry that shelters a vernal pool.
4. Cranberry Pond & Roaring Falls (Sunderland): The moderate forested loop trail provides access to a scenic pond and small waterfall, making a good introduction to the extensive trail system surrounding Mount Toby.
5. Robert Frost Trail: Bull Hill (Sunderland): In the first of an upcoming Robert Frost Trail map set, this route brings you to two prominent hills on the south end of the Mount Toby Range hiking through beautiful forest and unique rock formations.