Skinner State Park, Hadley

4.9
#1 of 7 in Nature in Hampshire County
State Park · Hidden Gem · Park
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Joseph Allen Skinner State Park is a state-owned, public recreation area located in the towns of Hadley and South Hadley in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts. The state park surrounds Mount Holyoke, the westernmost peak of the Mount Holyoke Range. At the summit is the historic Prospect House, an old hotel first opened in 1851. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
In its heyday, a steamer would pick up guests at the Smiths Ferry railroad station across the Connecticut River in what was then Northampton, ferrying them to a tramway leading to the Half Way House. From there guests could take a steep inclined tram to the summit. The Prospect House, under the proprietorship of John and Fanny French, was expanded twice, first in 1861 and nearly doubled in size with the construction of an annex in 1894.
In 1908 the property was sold to the Mt. Holyoke Hotel Company. This corporation was formed by Joseph Skinner, a local industrialist, L. Treadway of Treadway Inn fame, and Christopher Clarke to hold the land in trust for an eventual state reservation. The hotel continued operation until the Great Hurricane of 1938 badly damaged the 1894 annex, which was subsequently demolished. Soon after this, Joseph Allan Skinner offered to donate the hotel and the surrounding land to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the condition it would become a state park bearing his name. The formal dedication was held in June 1940. Before you head to Hadley, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Hadley trip itinerary builder app, to make sure you see all that Hadley has to offer, including Skinner State Park.
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Skinner State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
64 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • this park has the best view in the Valley.. 5 bucks to get in, car best way to get to top, but you could walk it.. 
    this park has the best view in the Valley.. 5 bucks to get in, car best way to get to top, but you could walk it..  more »
  • Spectacular views, picnic spots, drive up and enjoy the Summit House views if you are not a hiker. Limited hours inside. Road closes after the long weekend in October. 
    Spectacular views, picnic spots, drive up and enjoy the Summit House views if you are not a hiker. Limited hours inside. Road closes after the long weekend in October.  more »
Google
  • Get your heart pumping and stretch the lungs! I did a hike from the Halfway House to the summit this weekend. The hike up the side of the mountain here is quite steep, so make sure you’re ready for a hard workout if you interested. The trail from the Halfway House is about a mile, so it’s just 20 to 30 minutes to reach the top. The views from the top will make your hard work well worth the trip. The Summit House is open now with a tour guide who’ll give you a lot of history on the site. If your planning a picnic, I would call ahead to get all the rules. It’s a beautiful spot for one though.
  • Great place for the family

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