Hike of Mt. Tom State Reservation

Holyoke, MA

Sunday October 24th, 2010

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Goat Peak view A panorama of vivid fall colors blossomed before us as we crested Goat Peak along the Metacomet-Monadnock trail and enjoyed our first breathtaking view of the valley below.
View of Connecticut River From the nearby hawk-watching tower, more great views await us, including this one of the Connecticut River to our north. To the east we can see the Mt. Holyoke Range on the river's opposite bank, as well as the cities of Springfield and Hartford to our south.
View of Easthampton The town of Easthampton comes into sharp focus to our west as we continue hiking south along the Metacomet-Monadnock trail toward the Mt. Tom Summit.
Andrew, Gabe & Zach Andrew, Gabe and Zach navigate the basalt ridge. The trail's many twists and turns and ups and downs gave our feet a workout and kept our minds alert while trekking a loop of nearly nine adventurous miles to the 1,202-foot summit and back.
Nicoleta and Zach Zach Nicoleta and Zach check out the views from the top of the ridge. At right, the other Zach explores one of the mountain's basalt pillars.
Group on top of ridge Continuing along the jagged basalt ridge line, we seemingly find ourselves stopping every few steps to gaze out at one incredible view after another.
oxbow We get a nice look at the Connecticut River oxbow, which lies just north of the Mt. Tom reservation.
Easthampton Yet another picturesque view of Easthampton from further along the trail.
Group We're almost there... all eight of us closing in on the Mt. Tom summit, with Easthampton a bit further behind.
Summit towers Greg The actual summit is cluttered with radio and TV towers, which Greg photographs from a ledge just below.
Andrew and Gabe
Gabe, Andrew, Nicoletta and Zach chill out on the ledge below the summit. We briefly hiked up to the towers, but enjoyed the natural scenery from the ledge much more.
Gabe, Andrew, Nicoletta and Zach
Basalt tower The sun finally poked through the clouds as we began our descent, illuminating the mountain's basalt tower nicely. After an hour and a half of brisk hiking down the mountain, we were back at our starting point and ready to hit the road.

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