15 Best Walks In Northampton (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Northampton (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting way to explore Northampton, why not take a walk?

There are plenty of great hikes and scenic walks in the area, and I’ll share with you my top 15 choices.

From the beautiful Mount Tom Trail to the historic Flynt Center for Early New England Life, each of these routes offer something special for every kind of traveler.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, there’s something here for everyone.

So, grab your walking shoes and let’s start exploring the best walks Northampton has to offer!

Mount Tom Trail

Mount Tom Trail
Photo by Western Mass Hilltown Hikers

You’ll love the Mount Tom Trail – it’s a great way to get out and explore Northampton’s beautiful scenery!

The trail is a 4.3-mile loop that takes you through some of the most picturesque terrain in the area. You’ll get to enjoy spectacular views of Mount Tom and the surrounding hills, as well as the refreshing smell of the nearby pond.

The trail is also an excellent place to spot wildlife, including deer, turkeys, and a variety of birds. The path is well-maintained and easy to navigate, so you’ll have no trouble finding your way around.

Plus, you can take your time and explore the area at your own pace. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or an invigorating hike, the Mount Tom Trail is an excellent choice for getting out and exploring Northampton.

Norwottuck Rail Trail

Norwottuck Rail Trail
Photo by Flickr

Exploring the Norwottuck Rail Trail offers a unique opportunity to discover the beauty of Northampton’s natural landscape. It’s a 4.5-mile-long paved path that runs along the former path of the Boston & Maine Railroad.

The trail is full of interesting sights and sounds, from the rushing of the river to the birds in the trees. The path is mostly flat, making it a great option for those looking for an easy walk. It also offers plenty of opportunities to explore nature, with many little side trails that lead to some of the more hidden spots in the area.

Along the way, you can spot some of Northampton’s historical sites, such as the Mill River and the old stone bridge. The Norwottuck Rail Trail is a lovely place to take a leisurely stroll, as well as a great place for a more strenuous hike.

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil walk or a challenging hike, the Norwottuck Rail Trail is a great option for exploring the beauty of Northampton.

Look Park

Look Park
Photo by Flickr

You can experience a unique blend of nature and recreation at Look Park in Northampton. The park is situated on the Connecticut River and is a great place to settle in for a picnic or take a leisurely stroll.

It features walking trails, a playground, a swimming pool, and a carousel. The carousel is a popular attraction and is one of the few remaining hand-carved wooden carousels in the United States.

Look Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including foxes, deer, and turtles. Bird watchers can appreciate the variety of birds, including bald eagles, hawks, and songbirds.

The park also offers a variety of educational programs such as astronomy, birding, and gardening. Look Park also hosts special events throughout the year, such as the annual Northampton Arts Festival.

With its mix of nature and recreation, Look Park is an excellent place to explore on foot.

Mill River Recreation Area

Discover the natural beauty of Mill River Recreation Area in Northampton, where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors. Boasting lush forest and meadow habitats, this park provides a great place for a peaceful walk or hike.

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As you explore the trails, you’ll come across beaver dams, a historic mill, and a variety of wildlife. And you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with stunning views of the Connecticut River.

Mill River Recreation Area is an excellent spot for avid birdwatchers, with plenty of species to observe in the park’s diverse ecosystems. And it’s also a great place to take a picnic and soak up some of the state’s most beautiful natural scenery.

No matter what your outdoor activity of choice is, you’re sure to find something to enjoy at Mill River Recreation Area.

Manhan Rail Trail

Take an easy stroll along the Manhan Rail Trail and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Connecticut River Valley.

This 4.3-mile rail trail runs along the banks of the Manhan River and connects the towns of Easthampton and Northampton. It’s a great place to get out and explore the great outdoors while taking in some of the area’s beautiful natural surroundings.

The trail is wide and level, and it’s great for walking, running, biking, or rollerblading. It’s also pet-friendly, so bring your furry friends along for the adventure.

The trail passes through a variety of landscapes, from lush meadows to woodlands to wetlands. There are several points of interest along the way, such as the Manhan Rail Trail Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, and the historic Wistariahurst Museum.

There are also plenty of spots to stop and take in the scenery of the Connecticut River Valley. Birders will be delighted by the many species of birds that can be seen along the trail.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an exciting adventure, the Manhan Rail Trail is the perfect place to explore the beauty of Northampton.

Northampton Town Common

Admire the lush green lawns, majestic trees, and historic monuments of Northampton Town Common, a picturesque park located in the heart of the city.

This local landmark is the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or a picnic with friends. Lined with mature trees, this park is an oasis of calm in the bustling downtown area.

Visitors can explore the network of pathways that traverse the park, discover local monuments such as the grave of Mary Lyon, and take in the serene beauty of a tranquil pond.

During the summer months, the park also hosts a variety of events such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor movie nights.

Northampton Town Common is a wonderful spot to visit any time of year, and is sure to be a highlight of any visit to the area.

The Notch Trail

For a unique outdoor experience, take a stroll along the Notch Trail, a scenic hiking path located near Northampton. This trail is a great way to experience the beauty of the area without having to venture too far.

The Notch Trail is located in the Hampshire Hills, just north of Northampton, and spans 8 miles. It’s a great place to experience the local wildlife, with plenty of birds, deer, coyotes, and other animals living in the area.

The Notch Trail is an easy-to-moderate hike, with a few steep areas and some rugged terrain. It’s a great way to get some exercise, and the views along the trail are stunning.

Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, and wear appropriate footwear, as the trail can be quite slippery in wet conditions. There are plenty of benches and overlooks along the way where you can sit and enjoy the scenery.

The Notch Trail is a great way to explore the area and appreciate the natural beauty of the Hampshire Hills.

Fort River Trail

Experience the stunning beauty of Northampton’s Fort River Trail and take in the breathtaking views. The 3.5 mile long trail is a popular walking route for locals and visitors alike.

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It offers a variety of scenery, from wooded areas to open fields, and plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching. Bring a pair of binoculars for a closer look at the birds, deer, and other animals you may spot along the way.

The trail winds along the Fort River, a tributary of the Connecticut River, and offers several scenic rest stops along the way. Enjoy a picnic, soak up the sun, or take a dip in the river.

The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, and there are plenty of benches and places to sit and take in the scenery. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, the Fort River Trail is the perfect spot for a peaceful outdoor experience.

The Mill River Greenway

Continuing my search for the best walks in Northampton, I couldn’t help but find myself drawn to the Mill River Greenway.

This 4.5 mile loop provides a scenic and calming walk through woodlands and meadows. It’s located in the city’s Look Park, and the scenery is beautiful. You’ll find a variety of trees, plants, and wildlife along the way.

The trail is fairly level with a few short inclines to keep things interesting. It’s also well-maintained and marked with signs to help guide your journey. Along the way, you’ll find interesting historical artifacts, and you can even take a detour to visit the Mill Pond.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or a challenging hike, the Mill River Greenway is a great place to start.

Mount Holyoke Range

Take in the beauty of the Mount Holyoke Range as you wander through the rolling hills and valleys.

This mountain range spans across the western part of Massachusetts and is made up of 14 peaks.

The highest peak in the range is Bare Mountain, standing at 839 feet above sea level.

From the summit of Bare Mountain, you can see up to five states.

Along the range, you’ll find several trails that range from easy to difficult.

For a less challenging hike, try the Summit Loop Trail, which is only two miles long.

This trail offers stunning views of the range, but make sure to bring your binoculars, as some of the views are far away.

For a more strenuous hike, try the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, which is over 16 miles long.

This trail follows the crest of the range and is perfect for a long day hike.

No matter which trail you choose, be sure to bring a camera to capture the beauty of the Mount Holyoke Range.

Skinner State Park

Pack your daypack and get ready to explore Skinner State Park, a popular destination for outdoor adventurers. Located in the Mount Holyoke Range, Skinner State Park features a variety of trails and activities for hikers, nature-lovers, and campers alike.

The park is open all year round, giving visitors plenty of opportunities to experience the beauty of the park.

The centerpiece of Skinner State Park is the Mount Holyoke Summit, the highest point in the range. The summit provides stunning views of the surrounding area and is accessible via either a short, steep climb or a longer, more gradual ascent.

The park is also home to several smaller trails, ranging from 1.5 miles to 6 miles in length, offering a variety of terrain to explore.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll or a longer, more challenging hike, Skinner State Park has something for everyone.

The Summit House Trail

Experience the breathtaking views of the Mount Holyoke Range from the Summit House Trail, a 1.5-mile path leading to the highest point in the park.

This trail is a great way to get a good view of the surrounding scenery, as well as the surrounding hills and valleys.

Along the way, you’ll find plenty of interesting rock formations as well as a few benches for rest stops.

The summit house is the highest point in the park, and it’s the perfect place to take in the views of the valley and the mountains.

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The trail is well marked, with signs pointing the way to the summit house.

It’s a great way to spend a few hours exploring the area and taking in the natural beauty.

The trail is also suitable for all levels of hikers, so anyone can enjoy it.

There’s also plenty of wildlife around to observe, making it a great place for a nature walk.

So, if you’re looking for a great walk in Northampton, the Summit House trail is definitely worth checking out.

The Canal Path

Moving on from The Summit House Trail, another one of the best walks in Northampton is The Canal Path.

This peaceful stroll is a great option for those looking to enjoy the outdoors in the area. This trail is easily accessible, as it runs right along the banks of the canal. It’s a great option for those who want to take a leisurely walk and appreciate the beauty of Northampton.

The Canal Path is a great place to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the area. The path is lined with trees and wildlife, providing a great backdrop for a relaxing walk.

The trail is also a great way to get close to nature, as it runs along the edge of the canal. For those looking for a more challenging walk, the trail also has some steeper sections.

Along the way, you can also find benches, picnic tables, and other amenities to make your walk more enjoyable.

The Flynt Center for Early New England Life

For a unique and interesting glimpse into early colonial life, take a stroll through the Flynt Center for Early New England Life.

Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, the Flynt Center is a living history museum that allows visitors to explore the colonial era through interactive activities.

The facility features a recreated colonial-era homestead and farm, which includes a variety of structures and artifacts that were used in the everyday life of those living in the area in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Visitors to the Flynt Center can take a guided tour or explore the site on their own.

During your visit, you can learn about the history of the area, the lives of the people who lived there, and the important events that took place in the area.

The Flynt Center also offers a variety of educational programs and activities for all ages.

From day camps and field trips to lectures and demonstrations, the Flynt Center is a great place to learn about the culture and history of early New England life.

The Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge

The Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge provides a unique opportunity to observe the varied wildlife of New England’s Connecticut River Valley. Located in Northampton, the refuge is home to a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. It is an important habitat for many species of migratory and nesting birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, and a wide variety of waterfowl.

The refuge also provides excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography. The Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to go for a peaceful walk. Its trails are easy to navigate and the scenery is breathtaking. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, canoeing, and kayaking on the Connecticut River, as well as wildlife observation from the observation platform.

The refuge is open year-round, and in the warmer months the variety of wildlife is particularly abundant. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous hike, the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to explore.

Conclusion

I’ve had the pleasure of exploring Northampton on foot and I can confidently say that it’s home to some of the best hikes and walks around.

From the Mount Tom Trail to the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll through the park or a more challenging hike, Northampton is sure to have something to offer.

I highly recommend taking the time to explore the area and discover all that Northampton has to offer.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.