Skinner State Park

Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Skinner State Park

Skinner State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Holyoke Range, including Skinner State Park and the adjacent Holyoke Range State Park, is one of the only east–west mountain ranges in the country—most others run north–south.

This hike traverses two of the peaks in the range on a steep, rocky trail, then drops down to the valley floor to loop back on a flat dirt path that circles a small reservoir."

Skinner State Park Trip Reports

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The best part of this trail is the section involving the Metacomet-Monadnock trail, traversing the peaks and valleys of the Holyoke Range. The views are outstanding. The trail is rockey and exceptionally steep at times. Proceed with caution, especially on the icy patches in early spring. In order to complete the 4.6 mile loop featured, this route leaves the M-M trail to other trails in a a confusing arrangement of marked and unmarked trails at lower elevations. The Northside trail section, in particular, was confusing because there was an insufficient number of yellow blazes, placed few and further between as the trail advanced. What's more, it is very easy to get off-trail in this Northside section. At one intersection the trail "bears right," ufortunately, there were several choices in bearing right, I took the wrong option. Hence, I trekked to the wrong "small reservoir, realizing I had erred only when I got to Bay Road when I thought I was headed to a library of Amherst College. Eventually I wound my way to the small reservoir intended for this hike. These woods are so close to civilization in all directions, so I was not worried, but slightly annoyed by the confusions. All in all, an enjoyable hike, but now I'm gung ho about hiking the M-M section of this trail one-way, through the Holyoke range, rather than a loop trail that enters a confusing array of unmarked and inconsistently marked side trails. Somebody ought to mark these trails more consistently so the hiking experience can be vastly improved.

Skinner State Park Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
Best in Summer
Skinner State Park, Hadley; (413) 586-0350;
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Holyoke, MA
Local Maps

Trail Log