Picture this a beautiful morning or afternoon, the sun is out and shinning, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and it’s the perfect temperature out, not too hot, not too cold. The perfect day for hiking, sounds great right?
But then there’s you, who has something to do that day and is on a time schedule, but it’s just too perfect of a day to just stay inside. You have to get outside, but there’s no time to dedicate the day to hiking, so what’s your next best option? Going for a walk at the reservoir, equally as beautiful as any hike on a mountain, but easier and quicker.
If you live in Western Massachusetts then you’re one lucky person, because we’ve got plenty of beautiful reservoirs around here, so there’s a good chance there’s one in your town or near you. Here I have three beautiful reservoirs in Western Mass for you to walk, whether you’ve got an hour to walk or all day.
If you’re from Western Mass or even heard of Western Mass then you’ve probably heard of the historic Reservoir. Quabbin’s water covers 39 square miles, is 18 miles long and has 181 miles of shoreline. When the reservoir is full it holds 412 billion gallons of water. In order to be able to hold all that water, construction workers had to flood the area. The entire population of four towns had to be relocated, along with that hundreds of homes, businesses, a state highway, a railroad line, and 34 cemeteries were also moved or dismantled.
Just a little history lesson on the historic reservoir, but now lets get back to the main point of this post, walking. There are many gates found through out Western Mass where you can enter Quabbin and tons of trails you can hike or walk. One trail that’s good for either a quick walk or hike, is the Quabbin Hill Trail. The trail is 6.1 miles, so if you’re looking for a quick walk you don’t have to do all of it. Located in Ware, this trail offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate.
Although Ashley Reservoir doesn’t have quite the history like Quabbin does, then again I don’t think any reservoir around here has the history that place has. It is just as beautiful place and home of the Holyoke Cross Country team. I have had the pleasure of being able to race there once in high school and there really is no place it.
The Ashley Reservoir Trail is 3.3 miles long, the gravel road is perfect for walking, hiking, and biking. So you’ve really got your options open when you come here.
What makes the reservoir so special in my opinion is the the gravel paths that go out on to the lake. It makes you feel like you’re walking or running on water. So with this place you get a view of the woods and a view of the water, so it’s a win-win situation.
Now this reservoir holds a special place to me, mostly because I’m from Ludlow and I’ve spent years running there, but that’s besides the point. Located near the Beltchertown town line, this place is great if you just want to get a quick walk or run in.
The trail is about 3 or 4 miles one way, the only downer about this place is you have to turn around at some point because the entire loop around the reservoir is gated off at a certain point, however that shouldn’t stop you from coming here.
A couple good things about this is place is it has a dock for fishing too, so if you’ve ever got time you can fish on the dock or off the trail near the water too, as long as you have a fishing license. Another great thing about this trail is it’s all paved, so it’s easy to walk/run on and easy to bike on too.
Personally my favorite part about this place is no matter where you are on the trail you always get a view of the water. Which can make make your walk, run, or bike ride more exciting, because you’re always waterside.