-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: December 12, 2015
Length: Canalwalk Loop; 3.3 miles.
Pulaski Park Loop; 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy. Flat paved/brick-lined trail with some on-road segments.
To Start from the Holyoke Heritage State Park;
From I-391 take exit 6 to Commercial St which turns into Nickie Cosmos Way. Turn right at Appleton St and take a quick left into the park.
From I-91 take Exit 17 to Route 141 east to Appleton. The park entrance will be along your left just past Heritage St.
You can rent bikes in Holyoke. See; VALLEY BIKE SHARE for locations.
The Holyoke Canalwalk is a planned promenade along the First & Second Level Canals. Decorative paving and landscaping, railings, fences, streetlights and benches will enhance and maintain the canal banks. The Canalwalk will join existing features such as the Children's Museum, Heritage State Park and the Volleyball Hall of Fame. As of December, 2015, Phases 1 & 2 have been completed which includes a brick lined Canalwalk around parts of the First & Second Level Canals. The Holyoke Canals, built in the late 1800's, converted the force of the Connecticut River into enormous industrial power, allowing Holyoke to become the first planned industrial city in the country. The main industry of Holyoke was the production of paper, and at it's height, Holyoke was the largest paper producing city in the world. I've included directions from Heritage State Park to allow for a loop encompassing all 3 canals in the city, as well as, an optional loop through Pulaski Park. For more information visit; HOLYOKE CANALWALK & HERITAGE STATE PARK .
Starting from Holyoke Heritage State Park; The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round is located next to the parking lot.
Note; Behind the Merry-Go-Round building is the Heritage State Park Visitor Center which has maps and restrooms.
From the parking lot travel out towards the entrance and turn left along a sidewalk that crosses over the old RR tracks. This will bring you to the cement Canalwalk along the Upper First Level Canal. Head right out to Appleton St and turn left crossing over the canal. Turn left again following the brick lined Lower First Level Canal to Dwight St. Head right down Dwight St and across the canal to Race St. Turn right following the brick lined Lower Second Level Canal. Here you'll find benches and promenades overlooking the canal. You'll come to an old RR bridge across the canal. Follow it across to the Upper Second Level Canal and head left along the bricked lined path back out to Appleton St. Turn left back over the canal to Race St and travel right on-road, along the Lower Second Level Canal. A wide shoulder is available along this low volume industrial road. Continue across Cabot St, passing by an old RR bridge across the canal and checking out the stone arched tunnels where the water emerges after passing underneath the mill buildings. This brings you to Sargeant St where both sides of the canal are blocked off. Turn left and follow Sargeant St out to S Canal St at 1.2 miles. Head left on-road along the Upper Third Level Canal. Very industrial area. After crossing Cabot St and some RR tracks the canal disappear for a bit as you now travel along N Canal St. At 1.9 miles the canal reemerges as it flows into the Connecticut River at what I believe to be a power station. Keep an eye out across the canal and you'll soon spot an old red caboose. As the canal turns east you'll pass by some beautiful brick mill buildings (Valley Paper Company) before coming to Route 116 at 2.5 miles. Continue along Canal St briefly losing sight of the canal. It reappears at the Holyoke Water Power Park. Pass below a RR bridge and come to Lyman St at 2.7 miles. This is the Second Level Canal again. Detour right up Lyman St to the First Level Canal.
Note; Be sure to check out The Warehouse on your right, where you'll find an ecliptic assortment of objects outside (kids will love it).
Note; See Pulaski Park Loop map below for a detour to Pulaski Park which overlooks the Connecticut River, the Holyoke Dam and the canal that diverts the river through Holyoke.
Turn left along Open Square Way past the Farmers market and along the Lower First Level Canal to Dwight St. Turn right, crossing the canal, then left along the cement Canalwalk along the Upper First Level Canal. Travel past the CHILDREN'S MUSEUM , VOLLEYBALL HALL OF FAME and a spur up to the Heritage State Park Visitor Center. Continue straight past a playground, sculptures and benches to where a trail on your right crosses back over the RR tracks returning you to the Heritage State Park parking lot after a loop of 3.3 miles.
CLICK HERE FOR HOLYOKE CANALWALK MAP
CLICK HERE FOR PULASKI PARK LOOP MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT