Monday, April 22, 2013

Ashley Reservoir via Millville Road

Anyone who visits Ashley Reservoir is probably familiar with it's four "main" entrances.

There's an entrance at Route 202, one at the Elks Lodge on Whitney Avenue, another at Lower Westfield Road and Richard Eger Drive, and the maintenance entrance off of Homestead Avenue on Rock Cut Road.

There's also a fifth "unofficial" entrance off of Prospect Avenue in West Springfield on Millville Road. This road used to connect with Lower Westfield Road.

Although cut off with Holyoke for years, it's still a great nature, hiking and biking trail that leads to the "Wilhelm Pass" section of the reservoir.

 Here are a few pictures:

Here's the entrance at the intersection of Prospect Avenue, Morgan Road and Millville Road. From this point you are about a mile and a half from Ashley Reservoir.

A downed tree in the distance. There are some nice streams, vernal pools and beautiful rock formations along the road.

A pathway heading southwest in the direction of a secluded pond near the Pioneer Valley Railroad tracks.

An old boundary marker along the trail. Not sure, but this could be the land marker between West Springfield and Holyoke.

Another marker further down the trail with the inscription "73".

About three quarters of the way down Millville Road. The road was a bit wet and muddy in this area.

Approaching "Wilhelm Pass" and Ashley Reservoir.

The railroad bridge at "Wilhelm Pass". Access under the bridge has long ceased with mounds of earth and vines blocking the way. This must have been a very busy route in the early 1900s.  I'm assuming access was cut off by the city of Holyoke years ago to discourage vehicle travel south to and from West Springfield.

The stone abutment on the west side of the railroad bridge.

Pathway at the end of Millville Road that crosses over the Pioneer Valley Railroad into Ashley Reservoir.

Ashley Reservoir with the Carmody Pump House in the distance.

A view of the Pioneer Valley Railroad tracks looking west. Underneath the bridge is the beginning of Millville Road that heads south to West Springfield. Notice the beautiful stone work of the bridge abutment that has supported the bridge for over a century.

Looking down the tracks of the Pioneer Valley Railroad east towards the Holyoke Mall.

Old iron railing at the end of Millville Road near "Wilhelm Pass" marking the entrance to Ashley Reservoir.

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