Important: The launch areas on Mt. Tom are located on private property — not Massachusetts State Park property. We are permitted to utilize this space only if we strictly adhere to the rules and regulations that govern NEPHC club membership.
Flight Type: Ridge and Thermals with XC potential. Excellent “wonder-wind” at the end of the soaring day.
Best time to fly: Year-Round. However, at the end of November the tarp to make launching easier is put away.
- USHPA Rating Requirements: H3/P3 – Current USHPA and NEPHC membership mandatory.
- Launch: 42.242079, -72.647993. West-Northwest facing cliff launch. A secondary launch faces West-Southwest.
- Elevation: 1500ft (457m)
- Main Landing Zone: 42.249534, -72.654258. Contact the locals to inform them that you are flying before you hike up. This field may be closed for tall hay. All pilots should avoid flying too close to horses and houses.
- HG Landing Zone: A larger field to the South is recommended for hang gliders.
- Best wind: WNW @ 6-12 mph. Do not launch a standard sized paraglider in wind exceeding 12 mph unless you are certain you have the skills and your glider can penetrate!
- Make certain you check winds aloft before launching.
- Airspace: This site has restricted airspace behind launch (Westover AFB) and South West of the field (Barnes Airport). Occasional low flying aircraft (C5 Galaxy and F15 fighters!) in the area. Before flying XC check a sectional map for airspace.
- Hazards: Steep rock cliff, TV towers power lines in the landing area.
- Vehicle Access: None. Hike to launch only.
- Parking for hike up: 42.236676, -72.651627.
- This is the Log Cabin parking lot, address is 500 East Hampton Rd, Holyoke, MA.
Rules and Regulations
- First-time pilots must get a site introduction from a qualified club member.
- Land only on the designated landing area. See the image on this page.
- Remember: the launch is an environmentally sensitive area. We are guests of Holyoke and Easthampton and fly there only because of their generosity and support!
- Always follow USHPA Safety guidelines.
- Never fly alone.
- Always have your speed system connected.
- Stay clear of the launch area when others are trying to launch, keep spectators back away from the launch area.
- Check winds aloft as well as monitoring surface wind forecast. Be aware of launching into building conditions.
- Use a GPS equipped variometer to monitor your ground speed into the wind.
- Watch out for the powerlines at the East end of the landing area. Unless you are very low always try and land away from the powerlines. Always give yourself a lot of altitude heading in to land. Never try to squeak over the powerlines!
- Stay well clear of the radio, TV and microwave towers to the South of launch and the windmill towers to the North
- Don’t fly low over the neighbor’s houses near the LZ.
- Be aware that at the end of the day, the wind can blow downhill (catabatic).
Directions and parking
- Parking to meet your NEPHC Mentor in the parking area near Log Cabin and get hiking directions to launch.
- Address is 500 East Hampton Rd, Holyoke.