Hiking from the Notch Visitor's Center to the summit of Mount Norwottuck is fairly easy (1.2 miles). There are some steep spots, but it's not too bad. It's a good way to see a view of the Pioneer Valley from the summit. Mount Norwottuck is a drumlin, one of a few in the area, a geographical feature formed by glaciers.
The Quabbin Visitor Center provides exhibits about the history of the creation of the reservoir. The water supply's creation was not without controversy, as its construction required the towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott to be "discontinued," their residents evacuated, and their homes flooded forever. There's a touching videotape, shown on request, that chronicles the stories of the residents of the lost towns.
The visitor center is open Monday-Friday 8:30AM - 4:30PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM - 5PM. Entrance is free.
One of the most beautiful places to visit in the Quabbin Reservoir area is the Enfield Overlook. This area affords views of the part of the reservoir that used to be the village of Enfield before it was flooded. This also serves as a trailhead, as there are a number of hiking trails from this point, both up and down, from the convenient parking area. Hiking trails are open during daylight hours only.
One of the two dams constructed to create the Quabbin Reservoir is the Windsor Dam. This earthen dam allows a nice place to stroll and take in the views. Cars are no longer allowed on the dam itself, though you are allowed to park by the administrative building and walk as far as you like. The paths are open during daylight hours only.
Amherst, located in western Massachusetts is a charming college town. This historic area has many museums, antique stores, galleries and cultural activities.
The Dickinson family played a vivid part in the history of Amherst and continue to play an active role through the donation of Emily Dickinsons lifelong home as well as her brother Austins home. The Homestead and Evergreen are open to the public for guided tours.
THERE IS ANOTHER SKY by Emily Dickinson
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come