WHP Participants Only - Mt. Norwottuck and Rattlesnake Knob

AMC offers COVID conscious opportunities to enjoy the outdoors locally, visit many of our lodges and campgrounds, and join virtual events and activities. Participants of all in-person events should bring and wear face coverings, expect social distancing, and changes to our usual practices. To support contact tracing and hands-free signing of the AMC liability waiver, online registration is required for all in person AMC events.

Trip dates: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:00 AM

This trip is part of the Boston Chapter Winter Hiking Program (WHP) and is only open to registered participants of that program. If you would like more information about the WHP, please email us at whp20@hb.amcboston.org or follow the link below.

We are pleased to announce that we discovered another obscure mountain in Massachusetts. Join us for a moderate-paced hike to the summit of Mt Norwottuck and nearby Rattlesnake Knob. You may not heard of it, few have, but Mt Norwottuck is the highest peak of the Holyoke Range. Another fascinating fact - Mt. Tom is in Holyoke and is taller, but it is not part of the Holyoke Range. Mt. Norwottuck's summit offers sweeping views of the Pioneer Valley. From the Mt Norwottuck summit, we'll head east to explore the Horse Caves, a group of overhanging ledges and person-sized cracks that, according to legend, served as a hiding place for rebels who fought with Daniel Shays in Shays' rebellion after their defeat by the Massachusetts Militia. No horses have been seen in the caves in many years. Finally we'll make our way to the summit of Rattlesnake Knob, which features two outlooks offering excellent views of the Valley and hills to the east, and from there we'll loop back to return to our meeting place.

This will be a loop hike of approximately 6.5 miles, with an elevation gain of 1175 feet. As March weather can be unpredictable in Massachusetts, and March 6 is still winter, you will need microspikes and be comfortable using them as needed on rocky and icy terrain. Please also bring snowshoes. We may not need them but, If nothing else, you can practice attaching them to your pack. There should not be any need for goggles, an ice ax or crampons. We will be wearing face coverings.

To address unforeseen challenges such as adverse weather, unacceptable trail conditions or excessive crowding, the planned trip destination, activity and/or meeting place and time may be modified. In that event, participants may elect to join in that activity or opt out.

Trip details

Trip region: 
Massachusetts, Pioneer Valley
Trip state: 
Mark Warren (617-233-1520)

I have led WHP trips for, at least, the past fifteen years.

Bob Mackin
Trip location: 
Mt Norwottuck, Amherst, MA
Trip country: 
Trip difficulty: 


Adults (18+)
Run until filled: 


Registration required: 



Special types

X Happenings: 
First timers: 
New members: 
Advance notice: 
Special notice: 
Creation date: 
2021-02-04 20:06:05.0
Last updated: 
2021-02-06 20:46:07.74