(The fire tower
atop Mt. Tom has been closed until
further notice. You should contact
directly Mt. Tom State Reservation
to get the lastest info)
Mt. Tom State
Reservation in Holyoke,
Massachusetts is one of the
premiere places to watch the
migrations of hawks as they make
their way south during colder
It also happens to be a
great spot for picnics, mountain
biking, fishing, walking, and
enjoying some of the most
spectacular views anywhere.
The park was extremely well
thought out to provide recreation
for people in the early part of
Unfortunately, it's nothing like
the place it used to be but we can
still benefit from that planning
because much of the natural
scenery is accessible do to the
work done many years ago.
It's still a great spot and a
favorite place for people in the
According to an information
packet available at the
reservation, if could have visited
in 1920's, you would have seen
large buildings on top that housed
a restaurant, dance floor,
refreshment stands, and a large
telescope powerful enough to make
out the capital dome in Hartford,
Today the picnic area and
observation tower, and a lot of
the handy work of days gone by
remain and allow you to enjoy Mt.
Tom in a variety of ways.
The hiking is first rate since
you can challenge yourself or take
Along the way the history of
nature and humankind nearly tell
their story to you.
Just by opening your eyes a
little you'll notice the remnants
of ancient glaciers retreat, old
forests, buildings, roads, and
recreation areas. The trails
are clearly marked and a trail map
is available at the ranger's
station or posted throughout the
You'll want to climb Goat
Peak Tower on top of Mt. Tom to
experience unbelievable 360 degree
North views gives the town
of Northampton, the Connecticut
River, the University of
Massachusetts, Vermont and New
East and west views reveal
beautiful New England valleys with
endless amounts of trees
interrupted at times by small
towns and open fields.
The eastern view presents
unique evidence of glacial retreat
as once mighty mountains are now
rolling hills that have a much
smoother slope on the southern
side of their peaks...the glacier
carved out this pattern.
Looking to the south you'll see
more of the Connecticut River and
the tall buildings of downtown
Farther still in the
distance Hartford, CT. can easily
be seen...though it would be
pretty cool to have that telescope
from the old days and pull in the
Any clear day is a good one at Mt.
Tom State Reservation but the
optimum times to go are September
In September the annual
migration of hawks and falcons is
particularly evident here
especially from Goat Peak Tower.
The flight pattern of
southern migration just happens to
bring these masters of flight
right over Mt. Tom.
On good days, hundreds of
them can be seen in a short period
of time...stay there all day and
you might see a thousand!
Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper's
Hawk, American Kestrel, Peregrine
Falcon, and Northern Harrier are
just some of the migrating
October is fall foliage time and
the views at Mt. Tom are
absolutely perfect for taking in
all the colors.
In addition to trail peaks and
towers, there are a number of
parking spots that over look the
town of Eastampton and the western
valley it's in.
Mt. Tom State Reservation is
a must see for those who like to
get out and experience some of the
best spots in the Berkshires.
But make sure you don't confuse it
Tom in Connecticut...about
100 miles to the south.
Just down the road from Mt. Tom is
the town of Northampton. Recently
voted one of the best small towns
in America, nudged out by Santa
Barbara, it's a great place that
is totally unique from anything
you'll likely experience in the
It's worth the ride up there to
check it out and grab something to
eat...any kind of food you'd want
residents and New Yorkers should
make their way to Interstate 91
and head north.
Drive into Massachusetts and
passed the city of Springfield.
Stay on 91 north until you get to
Holyoke which is about 15 minutes
Get off at exit 17. Take a
right at the end of the ramp.
At the first stop light take a
left onto Northampton St.
A few miles up this main
road is the entrance to Mt. Tom
State Reservation. Drive slowly as
you approach Northampton you'll
notice first the entrance to Mt.
Tom ski lodge.
This is different than Mt.
Tom reservation and you shouldn't
enter here. A few miles down the
road and on the left hand side
will be a small wooden sign
announcing the entrance to the
nbsp;Directly across the street is
a bicycle/ski shop.
You can also take the Northampton
exit and then go right and
eventually down to Mt. Tom. Visit
the official state park for
will have the exact mileage for
you and their own directions.
version of the Mt. Tom State
Park Reservation page
If you have any trail updates to
share or have feedback/questions
here to send email or call