Description - When Boston industrialists saw the water pouring over Hadley Falls, they were immediately impressed with its tremendous power and economic potential. 50 cotton mills and 4-1/2 miles of canals were soon constructed, making Holyoke an industrial giant in the middle of the 19th century. Immigrant workers flocked to the new city. Paper mills quickly overshadowed the original cotton mills, and soon Holyoke was manufacturing much of the world's fine writing paper. Water powered turbines, and the steam and electric machinery that replaced them pushed Holyoke to its peak around 1920. Today, the city offers a glimpse of another age in reclaimed mills, canals, workers' housing, and Victorian homes.
- The park's Visitors' Center features exhibits about paper manufacturing and Holyoke's industrial history. A slide show celebrates the city's rich blend of cultures and people. Special programs are offered year-round. The Children's Museum, the restored antique Holyoke Merry-Go-Round and the Volleyball Hall of Fame are also located within the park.
Outside the Visitors' Center, relax and have a picnic in the beautifully landscaped park overlooking Holyoke's three water power canals and several of the mill buildings. The historic railroad is not running at present, but when in operation it takes passengers on a 10 mile route through Holyoke and the surrounding countryside.
Recreation - Recreational opportunities include picnicking, scenic viewing, visitors center and historic site. Visitors can also enjoy interpretive programs.
Climate - Massachusetts experiences four distinct seasons with slightly varying temperatures in the inland and coastal regions. Along the coast the water is a moderating factor that often prevents large amounts of snowfall from accumulating through the winter. Summer temperatures are usually cooler than low lying inland areas, due to ocean breezes. This region of the country experiences high humidity in the summer season and temperatures that average close to 80 degrees F. Fall and Spring are pleasant times to visit the region with crisp air and low humidity. Brilliant foliage colors can be found in the central and western regions of the state in late September and October. Winter temperatures can be brutally cold on occasion with a humidity-filled wind, but on average winter daytime temperatures reach 35 degrees F and lows reach into the teens. Spring is usually the wettest time of year, but trees, bushes and flowers are blooming by early May.
Holyoke Heritage State Park is located in the southern Ct River valley. Directions from the west: Head east on I-90 E, take exit 4 for I-91 toward Holyoke/Springfield - 0.6 mi., keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-91 and merge onto I-91 N -3.1 mi., take exit 16 to merge onto Cherry St-1.6 mi., turn right at Appleton St - 0.4 mi