With winter Olympics in progress it inspires one to get off the couch and strap on the skis. Northfield Mountain Cross Country Ski Area offers unsurpassed cross-country skiing in the entire region. The extensive 25-mile trail system of Northfield Mountain becomes a ski area during winter.
Ski trails are groomed for both free style and classical skiing. The trails range from beginner trails to a challenging vertical climb of Tenth Mountain Trail. Six miles of trails are exclusively reserved for snowshoeing with great views from Rose Ledges. The mountain’s groomed trails are supported with warming huts and ski instruction. Pets are not welcome on the trail system during the ski season.
The trail system is open during winter Wednesday to Sunday from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The Recreation Center at 99 Millers Falls Road, route 63, Northfield, MA is 32 miles north of Northampton and 14 miles northeast of Greenfield.
A mountain ridge in Northfield MA, 2.5 miles long by 1.8 mile with the Northfield Mountain summits at 1,206’. A pumped storage hydroelectric plant and reservoir owned by FirstLight Power Resources are atop the mountain west of the summit.
The FirstLight Power Resources operation has two roles. The primary function is a pumped underground hydroelectric facility 5.5 miles up the Connecticut River from Turners Falls Dam. Its turbines generate electricity from water flowing from upper to lower reservoir.
The upper reservoir covers 300 acres 800 feet above the river storing 5.6 billion gallons of water into four large turbines in the underground powerhouse 700’ below the surface. Each turbine pumps 20,000 gallons of water per second generating 270,000 kilowatts of electricity.
In conformity with the state of Massachusetts contract FirstLight Power Resources also operate Mountain Environmental & Recreation Center on the mountain. Their recreation has satellite facilities along a 7-mile portion of the Connecticut River. This includes public picnic areas, camping, cross country skiing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
Erving is a town of 1,800 population next to historic Mohawk Trail, along route 2. A tributary of the Connecticut River, Millers River passes through the town.
Greenfield is a city of 17,456 population first settled in 1686. Pocumtuck Indians originally inhabited the area as evidenced by artifacts discovered in the area dated between 7,000 and 9,000 years BCE.
Northampton is a village of 28,978 at 125’ elevation. It was an isolated frontier village settled in 1654. Past occupants include Jonathan Edwards and President Calvin Coolidge.
Northfield Mountain Environmental & Recreation Center is a 5:15 minute drive of 350 miles from Rochester NY. Drive east on I-90 Thruway passing Albany to Springfield MA. St Springfield drive north on US 91 exiting route 2 east to route 63 driving north following signs to Northfield Mountain Environmental & Recreation Center.
A satisfied visitor made this comment.
“I’m impressed with what they have to offer. Looks like it will be a good place to return for cross country skiing.”