Highlands Footpath First Blazing on Gobble Mountain

The Wild & Scenic Westfield River Committee was delighted to help the Highlands Footpath (HFP) coordinate their first day of blazing. The segment selected runs along Gobble ridge with views of the Westfield River Valley and town of Chester below.
On March 26th an excited group made up of long time HFP advocates, a rep. from the Nature Conservancy and new highlands Footpath enthusiasts headed out of Chester center onto private property, with the blessings of the land owner. After a few hundred feet the HFP enters Chester Watershed land, the town of was delighted to give permission for the long distant footpath to follow a before unsanctioned Unkamit’s trail, now fully vetted, at this location, and celebrated by those who admire the spirit of adventure embraced by it’s creators. The trail leaves Chester watershed land near the summit and travels through Nature Conservancy property to the historic airway beacon. Efforts are underway to assess the beacon with the hopes of restoration.
Further blazing and trail creation lays ahead, we look forward to many wonderful workdays and explorations with all of you.!! Meredyth Babcock
“It’s all still there in heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure-they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days and years to come.”
– Edward Abbey

SHAEC Littleville Fundraiser 5K walk/hike

Saturday, May 4, beginning at 10am
Meet at the boat launch parking lot at Littleville Dam.
The Friends of SHAEC is partnering with the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers for a fundraising walk/hike at the Littleville Dam, on Saturday, May 4, at 10am, in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center.
For 20 years, SHAEC has been providing free classes in GED preparation, computer training, business development, sustainability and wellness to residents of the Hilltowns and beyond. Walkers may register and donate on the SHAEC website at http://www.shaec.org, and encourage their sponsors to do the same.
Donations will also be accepted the day of the walk/hike. Please join us, and enjoy the beauty of Littleville. For more information, go to http://www.shaec.org or email Southernhilltownsaec@gmail.com
Prizes will be awarded to walkers raising the most money. Participants should meet at the boat launch parking lot at Littleville Dam. Take Route 112 to Littleville Rd, then turn right up Goss Hill rd. Dam is 7/10ths mile on the left.

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2017 DCR and Hilltown Outdoor Space Alliance meeting

Friday November 17th 2017 we toured CM Gardner State Park in Huntington and Chester Blandford State Park and Campground with Commissioner Roy and Dom Sacco of the DCR from Boston. These places are closed state parks and campgrounds. Today all of us who each are a part of numerous civic associations in the Hilltowns networked together to help solve the problems we face now and give our input for what we want to see happen in the future, such as creating a connecting trail network throughout the Hilltowns, opening up Windsor State Forest, opening up the Chester Blandford Campground and having an outfitter on Route 20 with bike, ski and kayak rentals. Our open spaces and recreation areas are key in attracting tourists and boosting economic development in the hilltowns. We need to stay diligent and keep these places full of their natural beauty while also promoting them to visitors. Our natural resources are priceless and they attract home buyers, tourists and small business entrepreneurs. Commissioner Roy shares the same passion as us Hilltowners and listened to our ideas as well as informing us that the State will be investing more dollars in Western Mass in 2018. We will work closely with the DCR in the upcoming year to make improvements where needed and create some great new attractions here as well.
🌲 Special thank you to Derrick Mason of Russell organizing this event. Its not too often Western Mass gets some Boston attention. Wild n Scenic Westfield River, Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway Trail, Jacob’s Ladder Business Association, Highlands Footpath, Route 20 Association, the Town Of Huntington and Western Mass Hilltown Hikers all were a part of todays agenda.🌲 #supportthehilltownsofwesternmass

Pictured are Commissioner Roy and Dom Sacco of the DCR, Elizabeth Massa, Michele Kenney Bryan Farr Jeff Penn, Meredyth Babcock, Jeanne Mansfield LeClair, Linda Hamlin, Huntington Police Dept., Anne Wellington, Andrew Myers, Derrick Mason