One of my first significant bike rides this year was on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. I had found what looked like an old, possibly unused, road when looking at maps online, and decided to ride down and follow it.

First I headed west to the Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke, and rode the paths through part of its land. Soon after I arrived there, I found some parents and children grazing (click to view larger version of photos):

Geese with goslings in grass

I rode a loop around the larger part of the reservoir, and then exited at a different point than where I’d entered, and headed south into the city of West Springfield. Soon after passing the city line, I turned west and rode to the end (as far as cars are concerned) of Prospect Rd. There was a gate that I rode around, and then I followed the older portion of the road that was dirt and gravel (and not often traveled by cars).

I passed a few people walking with dogs, but did not see many others using the path. There were some wetlands at points:

Pond with bushes in the foreground, trees in the background

The road was pavement again here, albeit narrow:

Old asphalt road going through the woods

Eventually the road narrowed to a plain dirt path through the woods, and then came out by some railroad tracks. Another cyclist had passed me shortly before I got to the tracks, and I followed him walking my bike along the tracks. At this point I could see the Mass Pike (i.e. the Massachusetts Turnpike) where the tracks passed under it, and I knew that I’d be able to get back onto a road near that rail underpass.

Sure enough, just before the Pike, another bit of trail took me back onto a piece of paved road, which I was familiar with from a hike years ago. I rode that street to its end at a more major road, which was at this point in the city of Westfield. I rode south and west on familiar streets to downtown Westfield, and visited the esplanade there which I’d first gotten a look at last year.

It looks much the same – here is the bike/pedestrian bridge over the Westfield River:

Old railroad bridge converted to bike trail bridge, with river flowing below

And the view up river:

View from bank of river, looking slightly upriver

And yours truly with the bridge:

Selfie of Sean with bike bridge and river in background

From there, I went north and west a bit, before turning back east to ride back to Holyoke. Because it was a long weekend, I went for another ride 2 days later. Details on that in the next post.