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Why Active People Love Living in the Five College Area

Part of what makes the Northampton, Massachusetts area so vibrant and well regarded is the Five College region. In addition to fostering a diverse community and thriving businesses, the location offers several parks and trails for active individuals. Maple Main and Realty, a real estate agency that helps buyers and sellers with commercial and residential real estate in the Northampton area of MA, discusses the various outdoor amenities that make the Five College region perfect for active people.

Discover What the Five College Area Offers Active Residents

Group of people running during autumn

The Five College area gets its name from the group of prominent higher education institutions in proximity to each other. These schools include Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Throughout the area, you’ll find several natural parks for engaging in outdoor athletic activities, such as hiking and biking. Some of the most notable locations include:

Amethyst Brook Conservation Area

Favored by many residents and visitors for its impressive trail network, Amethyst Brook Conservation Area allows active people to walk, run, or bike along the tranquil brook. It’s also a great location for spending time with the kids, letting the dogs explore the outdoors, and studying wildlife. In the winter, consider heading to this park for cross-country skiing.

Chesterfield Gorge

This unique rock canyon has developed from centuries of water flowing from the Westfield River. It forms a vast natural recreation spot that many use for catch-and-release fly fishing. Close by, visitors can see the remnants of a bridge that sat across the river in 1762.

Holyoke Range

Located in Amherst, Mount Holyoke Range State Park consists of 3,000 acres of woods, streams, wetlands, and other natural environments. It also showcases a mountain ridge line spanning seven miles. Visitors can walk or run on over 30 miles of blazed trails or participate in other activities like horseback riding, hunting, and snowmobiling.  

Mill River Recreation Area

This public park contains entrances to the Mill River Conservation Trails, as well as many facilities for outdoor events. Residents can take a walk around the trails and then set up a picnic at one of the tables for an energizing and relaxing day.

Norwottock Rail Trail

The Norwottock Rail Trail makes it easier for people of all abilities to exercise with its accessible biking capabilities. The 11-mile trail is also set up for rollerblading, cross-country skiing, and walking. What’s more, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is currently restoring the oldest parts of the Norwottock Rail Trail to provide active visitors more to explore.

Rocky Hill Greenway

The Rocky Hill Greenway is a collection of trails with multiple access points throughout Northampton, MA. Besides offering ample walking and running trails, it also contains a 121-acre peat bog where many rare turtle species dwell. This makes Rocky Hill Greenway a perfect spot for the active and ecologically conscious person.

Quabbin Reservoir

One of the largest unfiltered sources of water in the United States, Quabbin Reservoir contains 412 billion gallons of water and encompasses 181 miles of shoreline. While recreation is restricted to protect this precious source of drinking water, visitors can pursue several activities at Quabbin Reservoir, including walking, running, biking, fishing, snowshoeing, and hunting.

Seven Sisters Trail Race

Taking place in Mount Holyoke Range State Park, this event features 12 miles of technical trail and over 3,500 ft. of elevation gain. As such, many consider it one of the most challenging trail races in the Northeast. Those who participate in the race will be exposed to some of the most breathtaking scenic views, as well.

These are just a handful of the parks and trails you can find in the Five College area. Additionally, the region is home to indoor fitness centers and similar facilities for those who prefer to workout indoors or for when the weather is bad.

Learn More About Properties in the Northampton, MA Area

Active people interested in relocating to a place with abundant opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation can turn to Maple and Main Realty for guidance. We can guide you through many aspects of the home-buying process, including securing financial pre-approval and negotiating a reasonable price that meets your budget. Additionally, our highly trained agents conduct services with the utmost honesty and integrity. Contact us today to learn more about the Five College area and our listings.