|Section 7 along the Holyoke Range (from a trailhead sign)|
On a beautiful Friday morning, after exploring the Oxbow by kayak, we picked up my pack at the boat launch and set out across the Connecticut River. My goal for the day was only to climb to the Summit House on top of Mt. Holyoke, where my husband would pick me up. From the river to the summit! The hike is just over two miles, so I didn't expect it to take very long. ha ha ha ha
|Heading out from the Oxbow to the Connecticut River|
|Crossing the Connecticut River|
|M-M guidebook on where to land|
The M-M Guidebook has a pretty clear description of where to land, and we had no trouble finding the sandy beach between the two sets of powerlines opposite the entrance to the oxbow.
|Sandy beach between two sets of powerlines|
|The landing, with Mt Tom Reservation in the background|
|My kayak getting towed back across the river|
|M-M Guidebook map (the book seam covers part of the map)|
|Screenshot of my Google map based on the M-M Guidebook.|
|What I actually hiked (yellow) Vs. the Guidebook route (blue)|
|Wall #1: The Thicket|
|Oh Thank God: The field. |
But...it's a wall of corn. Are you kidding me?
|Detouring along the field perimeter|
Coincidentally, the farmer was out harvesting the corn, and had made a couple passes on the perimeter of the field. I went that way. If I had been there a day later, I probably could have walked right along the utility towers like the guidebook says. If I had been there a few hours earlier, I don't know if I would have been able to walk the perimeter of the field. C'est la vie.
|Corn harvesting on the "trail"|
|A lot of corn gets left on the ground|
The field skirted Russell Cove and some ducks flew by. There were several animal runs from the field into the water. Otter? Muskrat?
|Wall #3: The Loosestrife Field|
|Looking back towards the cornfield. Joe Pye Weed in the foreground.|
|MA 47 up ahead.|
I came out at Hockanum Cemetery and sat down to take a break. The cornfield didn't get a breeze at all, and it was hot walking even on a cool day. I glanced behind me and saw a 'no trespassing sign' at the edge of the cemetery where I had just come through. Oops. Well. The M-M map does show the trail route curving back behind the cemetery. But I doubt there was any trail there and it would have been impassible.
|In the cemetery|
|Oh Thank God. A blaze!! I see a blaze!!|
|Trailhead Map of the NET|
|Looking back down at the way I came.|
|Solomon Seal berries|
|Coming up to the Summit House|
The Summit House is gorgeous. As are the views. The inside wasn't open when I was there on Friday, but the big wrap-around porch was. A road goes up to the top, so there were people up there enjoying the scenery. It was a great place to wait for my ride back to the hotel.
|Mt Holyoke from the Northampton Quality Inn|