November 3rd was a cool morning. It made for a
great day to have a walk. Ten of us got together at
Mt Tom State Reservation in Holyoke/East Hampton
Massachusetts. This 2,161 acre facility offers 22
miles of hiking and walking trails. Today, we will be
covering approximately 3.5 miles of trails, including
a small portion of the Metacomet/Monadnak trail
system. More information including directions to the
reservation can be found at:
(Just click "State Parks" from right hand
Some of the scenery found on the walk includes the
valley containing Easthampton, Southampton, and
Northampton Mass, including the Oxbow portion of
the Connecticut River.
Southwest facing and is of the town of Easthampton
and goes all the way to the Berkshires.
This is the remnants of the original road that ran along
the mountain ridge to a hotel that was located here up to the 1920’s.
The walk started at the visitor center along the road
for a short distance. We then took a left turn onto the
Dynamite trail, which we took for a very short distance.
A right turn at the blue marks on the trees put us onto
the John McCool Trail. This trail covers a nice rolling
walk area and is about 1 mile long. At the end of the
trail, we took another right, and were on the “M and M”
trail for a short distance, until hitting the service road
again, A left turn and a short climb brought us to the
end of the road, and the lookout noted:
Nine of the ten walk participants and the seven dogs. The dogs are as follows: The pups, from left to right are: Layla (TWC), Ulysses (Redbone), Leon (Bloodhound), Lindy (redbone), Rue (Hound mix), Watson (TWC), and Buddy
The dogs all got along great on the walk. There were
no social issues once they had all checked out each other. What is good about
the selection is that all of the dogs are rescues, and came from various parts
of the country. It was fun to watch the dogs react to each other and to the
scents in the air and on the ground. Typically, when I walk Buddy, I use a 30
foot training lead, so that he can run scents a little.
For period on the trail, Watson and Buddy switched
leads so Watson’s owners could give a try at a long line. And of the seven dogs
on the walk, the only one that could be trusted off leash was Rue.
After spending about 15-20 minutes looking out on the scenery and talking amongst ourselves, we decided to head back down to the visitor center to end the 2 hour walk.
The walk out was very easy. The last three dogs seen here from left to right are Rue, Lindy, and then Buddy back on his long line lead.
View from the lookout facing northwest. The Connecticut River’s Oxbow is visible here. As well as Northampton Mass.
View from the lookout facing west/northwest. Visible are a couple of the old mills that founded Easthampton Mass, as well as the Arcadia Wildlife center.
I want to thank all that came.
I also want to thank Ann Lambertus for the Northeast Coonhound Rescue (www.necoonhoundrescue.org),
through which made this walk possible. There will be another fall walk located somewhere in Western Mass.
Article reprinted courtesy of