to preserve and promote the natural beauty of the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts
…we recognize and preserve Hilltown history for all…
We updated this website platform in Fall 2020 after completely outgrowing our old one! That being said, we will be uploading ALL our info here…yes..everything, including dedicated pages to Hilltown History and a more user friendly map database. Don’t forget our BLOG has everything we do including new map uploads. Thank you, we love you guys!
Special Thank you to Patrick Berry and Mass Appeal for coming out to Chester!
(Mass Appeal) – There are many miles of hiking trails in Western Massachusetts and one group has been regularly organizing hikes and volunteer efforts to maintain some of these trails.
Liz Massa, Lead Hiker and volunteer with the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers, gives us an inside look at some of the hikes and history they’ve been enjoying.
Western Mass Hilltown Hikers was created for people who love the outdoors to get out and discover new destinations for outdoor recreation. Our goal is to bring awareness of the landscape, history and wildlife the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts have to offer and promote those natural assets to boost tourism and economic development to the area while still keeping our open spaces natural.
In 2016, we decided to take YOU along……
We were once three friends who hiked every weekend to a different destination, each week more friends joined us, then friends of friends and so here we are today, a group of over 1,900 members, over 2,000 in the Facebook Group and 5,000 followers on our Social Media platforms. Each month we lead a publicly advertised group hike, always free and no registration required (except during COVID), open to everyone including well behaved dogs.
We want to hear from you! Do you have a great hiking destination? Historical location? Are you a landowner with awesome trails and want to do a group hike? Email us at email@example.com
Special Thanks to Andrea at theGreenfield Recorderfor an awesome story on getting out there and staying healthy with the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers!
I invite you all to post on all our social media your adventures whether it be hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing. kayaking or mountain biking. Let others know your idea for a hike or share your favorite trail. Post your beautiful pictures and videos! If you are looking to get out there and you need someone to come along…. you can network on our social media. We use hashtags to find our adventures all over the internet, #westernmasshilltownhikers and #hikethehilltowns
I have discovered that there are many of you out there that want to get outdoors to a waterfall or climb a mountain and need a partner to do it with or simply want to enjoy our pictures and videos. I invite you to all come out to the Hilltowns of Western Mass to see and enjoy our natural beauty! Liz
Hike Leader Liz
I have been told that I am a “hike-a-holic”. Fact, I am! I rented a house in Richmond years ago, hiked/biked the area trails and remembered how much I enjoyed growing up in the woods of Hampden. After working and living in the Springfield area for 20 years….it was time for me to get back in touch with the outdoors. I immediately made the move to Russell after completely falling in love with the Hilltowns and finding myself again. There is nothing I love more than our beautiful Hilltowns and my dogs of course!
Ronnie is a 13 year old Lhasa Apso who has hiked the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts. She loves mountains and rock climbing. Find her on the trail at Liz’s feet.
Angie loves to hike but preferably in warm weather! Angie loves other dogs and people. Hide your trail snacks, she loves food too.
Hike Leader Karen
Karen McTaggart grew up in Russell. After being away for 30 years in Southwick and Agawam, she moved back to town to help her Dad, Gerry Sikes. She is a postal carrier in Suffield, Ct and has a son and granddaughter in LA, whom she loves to visit. Karen is an original Western Mass Hilltown Hiker and Hike Leader. She was an avid softball player and played for the Russell Inn Woman’s Softball Team in the Hilltown Women’s League. Karen loves to travel, having family all over the country. But, returning to the beautiful hills of home is her favorite thing. Local history and family genealogy is her passion. This makes for a great enjoyment for hiking the local roads, trails, and woods, as well as the beautiful views. Bowling, hiking, photography are her activities of choice. Karen is an original founder along with Liz of the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers.
Hike Leader Michele
Hike Leader Michele Kenney has lived in Western Mass for over 30 years, with 20 of those years in Chester. Michele hikes with her two dogs: Kiki, a flat coated retriever mixed with chow, and (Taco) Bella, the famous WMHH Chihuahua.
When not hiking, Michele could be found kayaking, or making thermal shades for her business CustomThermalshades.com
Michele also is the program director of the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center, does Business Assistance for the Hilltown CDC, and is an active member of the Jacobs Ladder business Association.
Hike Leader Lyle
Lyle grew up in Connecticut and got her first real taste of hiking when she walked across Europe in college. Later she moved to Colorado where she spent time exploring the San Juan Mountains. A couple years ago she finally settled down in western MA and has been hiking and exploring the area since. She also has her best furry friend, Finley, with her on hikes. If you’ve been on a hike with WMHTH you’ve probably seen him and his sheer excitement to hit the trails!
Hike Leader Kim
I am originally from South Hadley, Ma. and currently living in Huntington for the past 10 years.
I work as an HVAC Coordinator for small family owned company. My favorite hobbies are hiking, gardening, cooking, fishing and painting oils and acrylics on canvas. I also enjoy music, motorcycle rides, antiques, cape cod and my family and my two kitty cats.
Hike Leader Russ
Grew up in South Jersey when it was still rural. Worked on a Thoroughbred training farm and spent a lot of time walking in the woods. Hiked and backpacked many of the national parks in the west and upper midwest including off trail route finding in few national parks. Also backpacked in Puerto Rico. Flown in by bush plane close to Chitna glacier (Alaska) and paddled back. Have hiked four 14ner summits including Mt Whitney (on the first attempt). Thoroughly spoiled by the Rockies. Moved to hill towns just before Covid lock down. Spent initial few months beginning to learn the area alone due to Covid. To do list includes PCT and CDT. Retirement plans include much time in Alaska, interpretive rangering in National Parks system and international volunteer large animal vet medicine.