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West Springfield

Environmental Committee
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The Bear Hole Watershed can be accessed from a few different points.  There are miles of hiking trails and service roads.  Some routes create circuits, others don't.  Right now there are no formal trail maps.  Exploring on your own or having someone accompany you who is acclimated with the area is recommended.  If venturing into the area for your first time, it is recommended going with a friend.  You probably won't get lost, but having someone with you should help ensure you have a positive experience. 
 

Access via Bear Hole Road:

This entrance point will lead you to the immediate reservoir area.  Service roads, hiking trails, location of the reservoir's water treatment facility & dam, as well as the locale of the old "Bear Hole Resort" can be accessed.  Depending on what route you take, staying within this area can provide a circuit of approximately 2 1/2 to 3 miles minimum.  Following Great Plains Rd as denoted below will extend your excursion considerably.  The water treatment facility is posted with No Trespassing signs.  As long as you are conducting passive recreation (no ATVs or motorized vehicles) you can disregard the signs.  The terrain of this section varies from dirt roads & trails, rough & smooth pavement services & trap rock gravel.  Area is level & hilled.  

 

From Route 5 & Morgan Road Intersection located at the main entrance of the Riverdale Shops -

From Route 5 North take a left at the lights, Route 5 South take a right onto Morgan Road.  Follow Morgan Road straight through two sets of lights.  Up the hill, past the Elks lodge on left.  Past Circle Drive on left & Birnie Avenue further on right.  At junction of the road, bare left onto Pease.  Pease becomes Amostown Rd.  At intersection of Amostown & Dewey take right onto Dewey Street.  The Country Store is on your left at this intersection.  Follow Dewey Street straight to Bear Hole Road on right.  It is directly accross from Rogers Avenue.  Follow Bear Hole Road to the end where there's a gate directly in front of you.  This is the parking area. 

 

To your left are two stone pillars.  A small opening in the fence for access exists at the gate on the other side of the pillars.  This is a good place to start your trek of up to 3 miles around the reservoir.  From the parking area if you begin on the road (Great Plains Road), which begins on the other side of the gate with the cement barricades, you are still in the watershed, but you will have access to two different service roads / trails on your left that will lead you back to the reservoir area.  Not taking either trail & continuing straight on Great Plains will lead you to the outskirts of Bear Hole via Morgan Road.  Once you reach this junction you can take a left under the Turnpike underpass.  This will lead you to Four Corners where you can access Millville Road & Prospect Avenue, both which are part of the watershed.  Go to the Links section of this website.  The historical / driving tour links on this website provide pictures of the Bear Hole parking area entry point as well as Four Corners.  This should give you a visual confirmation you're in the right area. 

 

From Westfield / Route 20:  Route 20 into West Springfield.  Past Little Georges Restaurant & a strip plaza with a gas station farther on your left.  Up the hill & just past the Little Castle Apartments on your right is the intersection of  Route 20 & Rogers Avenue.  At the lights take the left onto Rogers.  Follow to the end.  Do not turn.  At the stop sign go straight onto Bear Hole Road.  Follow Bear Hole Road to the end where there's a gate directly in front of you.  This is the parking area. **Follow the directions as denoted above, paragraph 2 (stone pillars)** 


Access to Four Corners:

There are multiple ways to get to Four Corners via vehicle depending on where you're starting from.  To keep things simple only two routes are described below.  If you'd like additional directions, please send an e-mail.  Four Corners will lead you to Millville Road, which leads to Holyoke as well as a loop towards Quarry Road in West Springfield.  Prospect Avenue (silver gate at the entry point) will lead you towards the vicinity of the Lane Quarry and the West Springfield / Westfield boundary. Millville Road round trip (stopping at the railroad tracks & returning to Four Corners) is approx 2 miles.  Following the trail at the curve near the railroad tracks will lead you to Quarry Road and/or Interstate Drive in Holyoke, depending on what trails you follow.  Prospect to the town boundary at the gate beyond the cell tower and closed bridge is approx 2 miles round trip.  There are a few scenic trails that parallel Prospect on the side of the Turnpike.

 

From Route 5 & Morgan Road Intersection located at the main entrance of the Riverdale Shops -

From Route 5 North take a left at the lights, Route 5 South take a right onto Morgan Road.  Follow Morgan Road straight through a set of lights.  Up the hill, past the Elks lodge on left.  Past Circle Drive on left & Birnie Avenue further on right.

At the junction of the road bare right (Morgan Road).  Follow Morgan Road straight to a stop sign.  Take a right.  Follow straight into the watershed (rougher road service).  First road on your left before the underpass is Great Plains Road (closed to vehicle traffic).  This leads you to two service roads / trails on your right, which lead towards the reservoir area.  Go straight on Great Plains & you'll end at the Bear Hole Road parking area.  

 

Other option:  go straight on Morgan Rd, under the underpass.  Four Corners will be in front of you.  Gate directly in front of you is Millville Road & to the left is Prospect Avenue.  Traveling right will bring you on Prospect Avenue towards Holyoke.

 

From Westfield / Route 20:

Route 20 into West Springfield.  Past Little Georges Restaurant & a strip plaza with a gas station farther on your left.  Up the hill & just past the Little Castle Apartments on your right is the intersection of  Route 20 & Rogers Avenue.  At the lights take the left onto Rogers.  Follow to the end.  Do not turn.  At the stop sign take right onto Dewey Street.  Staight up a hill to a stop sign.  Take a left.  Then next left at a curve in the road onto Amostown Rd.  Do not make any turns, follow Amostown.  Pavement will eventually end and you will be on a rougher surface.  You're now in the watershed.  **See the details in the preceding regarding accessing Great Plains Rd and/or Four Corners.**