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Spring starts to bloom at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Featured Article

Spring Adventures

Day trips abound in and near the valley

As the temperatures, hopefully, start to warm up in March and the snow melts, the Valley and its surrounding areas offer a range of opportunities for getting outside again. Of course, anyone who has lived here for some time knows that it’s also a good idea to have some backup plans for that late winter snowstorm. Here are some favorite springtime day trips.

Look Park

With a steamer train, wildlife center, walking path, sweet shop and multiple playgrounds, Look Park is a great option for getting out some of that early spring energy. The park also has lots of open space to explore and for the kids to run around.

Norwottuck Rail Trail

Ride the 11-mile paved trail along the former Boston & Maine Railroad, enjoying the scenic views along the way. Level paths allow you to enjoy the trail no matter your abilities. The trail is also open to walking and rollerblading.

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Held on St. Patrick’s Day this year, the parade is worth the drive down I-91. Featuring divisions from both Easthampton and Northampton with marchers, floats and bands, the parade weaves a nearly three-mile route through downtown Holyoke and takes about three hours to complete.

MassAudubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary

Spanning Easthampton and Northampton, Arcadia's diverse terrain (forest, meadows, grasslands, marsh, and wetlands) attracts an extraordinary variety of wildlife and wildflowers. With many trails to explore, the sanctuary offers a respite from busy lives.

Manhan Rail Trail

Nestled in the heart of the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, Easthampton’s Manhan Rail Trail offers unique transportation and recreational opportunities to people of all ages and interests. With a total length of 6 miles, the trail connects to the Northampton system of trails in that city.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

As much of the country enjoys college basketball’s “March Madness,” take a trip to the hall to learn about the sport of basketball. Located in Springfield, it is dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level and is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history.

Enjoy breakfast with fresh maple syrup

Early spring is prime maple-sugaring season. Stop by one of the local sugar shacks for a delicious breakfast with locally sourced and fresh maple syrup. Steve’s Sugar Shack in Westhampton will host a benefit for the Westhampton Fire Department on Apr. 13. North Hadley Sugar Shack will be boiling on most days, depending on the weather.

The Montague Book Mill

Not a basketball fan? Get lost in “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find” at the Montague Book Mill. This used bookstore housed in an 1842 gristmill is also home to a unique cafe, a gourmet restaurant, a record store and an artists’ collective.

  • Enjoying the maple syrup at Steve's Sugar Shack.
  • The mural on the Manhan Rail Trail.
  • Busy breakfast morning at North Hadley Sugar Shack.
  • Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary offers beautiful scenery.
  • Look Park come to life around the water.
  • Look Park
  • Look Park offers many areas for quiet reflection.
  • Spring is in bloom at Look Park
  • The geese wander around Look Park.
  • Spring is in bloom at Look Park.
  • Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Spring starts to bloom at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.