MOUNT TOM RAILROAD TRAIL:

HOLYOKE, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      July 12, 2009

Length:                Mount Tom Railroad Trail; 1.9 miles

Difficulty:            EXTREME. Paved road straight up a 21% grade.

Directions:

Take exit 17 off of I-91 to Route 141. Head east on Route 141to Route 5. Turn left onto Route 5 north and keep an eye out for Mt Park Rd which will be on your left. Take Mt Park Rd over I-91 and park by the gate or along the side.

In1895, work began on Mountain Park, a "trolley park" at the base of Mount Tom. It is to be operated by the Holyoke Street Railway Co. In 1897 the Holyoke Street Railway Company opens up the Mountain Park amusement park as well as their house on the summit of Mount Tom. The summit house features a restaurant, constant entertainment, and a spectacular view. The project changed hands several times until its closure in 1988 when competition from larger amusement parks gradually sapped business away what had become affectionately known by locals as "The Queen of the Mountain." Remnants of the park are still visible today. The Mount Tom Railroad was constructed in 1897 and includes a 21% grade. For more information concerning the history of Mount Tom Railroad visit; MT TOM RAILROAD and MT TOM RAILROAD PICTURES .

Starting from the Mt Park Road parking area; Head right past the yellow gate and down the paved road and then up a steep grade before leveling out after 0.6 miles. Another 0.2 miles of up & down hills brings you to an electric power station and red gate on your left.

Note; If you continue straight up the road you'll come to the remnants of the Mount Tom Ski Area.

Head past the red gate and up the paved road. After turning a corner you'll come to the old railroad bed, now buried under the road. Daunting! The road climbs straight up at a 21% grade. I'd like to say we biked it, but we ended up pushing our bikes up most of the way. After traveling about halfway up, you'll get a reprieve at mile 1.3 as you check out a memorial to the "Flying Fortress" B-17 bomber that crashed into the side of Mount Tom in 1946, killing all 25 servicemen on board. Continue the uphill trudge and you'll reach the summit after 1.9 miles. To your right you'll spot the old foundation for the Summit House as you come upon all the communication towers. Great views of Easthampton. Use caution around the old railings, as some of the foundations have collapsed over the years. Now come the fun part riding straight down the mountain. Make sure your breaks are in great shape!

HH

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BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

BIKE IT OR HIKE IT

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