Dates Of Visits: May 31 & June 2, 2017
Location: 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA
Official Season: Open to the public (7 days a week) from 7:00 am until dusk daily(1/2 hour before sunset) from the first Saturday in May to the last Sunday in November.
Off-Season: Gate 1, across from Westfield State University’s Woodward Center, is open year-round from 7:00 am until dusk daily, weather permitting. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.
Parking: During the “official season” from around early May until the end of November, there are two parking areas with ample parking (probably room for 300 or more cars) . During the off season, the second parking lot is closed.
Size/Trail Difficulty: 300 acres, easy trails
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Highlights: sports fields, play area, pond, trails, flower garden, fountain, sculptures, covered bridge, birds, wildlife, ample parking
Website: Stanley Park
Map: Stanley Park Map
If you read the title of this blog post and thought thought to yourself, “Hey you’ve already posted about this place” you would be correct. I visited Stanley Park in June, 2015 but I was told, incorrectly, by a park worker that I was not allowed to take photos there with paying a fee first. So, I was only able to use a few photos from my original visit and I had tp use my camera phone for the remainder of the photos and they did not come out very good. So, I decided to take another trip to the park last week. If you do want to see my original post you can access it here: Stanley Park in 2015.
Named after Frank Stanley Beveridge, Stanley Park, Stanley Park is one of the most popular parks in Western MA. Throughout the year they hold various memorial services for veterans, musical shows and even a road race among other events. But, Stanley Park is also a great to play to visit to get away from people and just have a peaceful hike along the many trails there or to just sit and watch the various wildlife that inhabit the park.
Originally from Pembroke Shores, Nova Scotia, Frank Stanley Beveridge would go on to create the company Stanley Home Products after immigrating to the states and eventually settling in Westfield, MA. Because of his love if nature and its inhabitants, he would establish Stanley Park of Westfield, Inc. on twenty-five acres of land in Westfield, Massachusetts. Since then it has grown exponentially but it has still kept the same natural beauty.
The first thing that stood out to me while visiting Stanley Park are the colors, particularly during the spring summer and especially during the fall foliage season. Whether it is the variety of birds at the park, the colorful flowers and green grass or the Koi fish in the pond, the colors were really popping at Stanley.
One of the things Stanley Park is most known for is its population of black squirrels. Since they are not indigenous to the area, their origins have often been a matter of curious debate. No, they weren’t dropped off by aliens nor did they travel to the park as part of a family vacation.
The black squirrels are actually from Michigan. They were gifts from former Stanley Home Products sales managers, Hubert L. Worell and Alvah (Al) Elzerman. They were brought there in 1948 and their population has steadily increased. As you can see, they are very well fed.
There is a soccer/lacrosse field, basketball court and play area for children in the main parking area. You can also access the Beveridge Nature Sanctuary Trail from the parking area. The Sanctuary Trail is 229 acres of easy trails with some gentle inclines.
Stanley Park is home to a variety of blue jays, cardinals, ducks, geese and other birds s well as frogs and turtles.
One of the best places at Stanley Park is the area behind the pond at the entrance. Chipmunks, squirrels, birds and other critters stop by in the hopes of some nuts or other treats from passing visitors. In fact, when I walked over to the area chipmunks actually came out from hiding to greet me, in the hopes I might have some snacks for them. They weren’t disappointed.
You can even hand feed them.
Stanley Park also has a garden area with roses, rhododendrons, azaleas and other flowers and pretty trees.
There is also a covered bridge at Stanley Park. Even though it only allows foot traffic the Goodrich Bridge is still bridge and it is indeed covered. It is one of the 13 wooden covered bridges in Massachusetts. I never really considered it an actual covered bridge since it is not on a roadway or sidewalk. But, it does meet the criteria.
An old blacksmith building is located near the bridge.
There is a mill by the pond and a couple of waterfalls.
There are also several memorials and monuments at Stanley Park.
This Veteran’s Memorial is dedicated to all of those in Westfield who have served. Black plaques on the ground list the names of the people from Westfield who have died while serving.
This memorial, Our Lady Of Fatima, was dedicated in September 1952 to Otto Bono Calegari, a Westfield native who was killed during the Korean Conflict. The memorial was handcrafted by Otto’s father, Rocco Calegari.
The Carillon Tower is located near the gardens. Completed in 1950, the tower tower was dedicated to world peace. From time to time, the bells of the Carillon are rung at the tower as part of their Carillon Tower ceremonies. The bronze doors are decorated with 14 relief sculptures portraying various aspects of the Park and Stanley Home Products, as well as profiles of Frank Stanley Beveridge and Catherine L. O’Brien.
The map in front of the tower measures 23 feet by 30 feet, and is composed of multicolored New York slate.
The Angel of Independence was a gift from Stanley Home Products sales persons from Mexico on October 25, 1958. The monument is a Replica of the statue Placido de lareforma in Mexico City which stands for Liberty and Freedom. The base is Vermont Marble and stands 30 feet tall.
I couldn’t find much information about this statue except that it is referred to as the “Children With Umbrella” statue. It is a fairly new addition as far as I can tell.
There are also dinosaur tracks at Stanley Park. Tracks that are said to be over 100 million years old. The tracks are actually from the Carlton Nash Quarry South Hadley (MA).
There are two fountains at Stanley. They are both located in the garden area and near the entrance by Gate 2.
I saw someone riding this cute bicycle at Stanley and she was kind enough too let me photograph it. I especially liked the bell she would ring from time to time as she rode it.
There is so much beauty at Stanley Park. Just the way the trees bend and the views from the upper level where the garden is located to the duck ponds and the bridges that are scattered throughout the park are sights to behold.
Stanley Park is a great place to bring your dog, although he or she may want to chase or make friends with the ducks and geese there.
I met Duke, a 1 year old rescue, while I was walking along the Sanctuary Trail. He was such a friendly guy!
.Biscuit, or Bubba, a 5 year old Bulldog and Mastiff was enjoying a walk along the boardwalk . Her fur was so soft!
As the clouds came rolling in, it was evident it was time to leave.
This is video of the hail storm that followed shortly after we left.
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