About This Location
Whiting Street Reservoir, affectionately known as Whiting Reservoir, serves as a crucial auxiliary drinking water supply for the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Classified as a Class I hazard reservoir, this serene body of water offers not only vital utility but also a scenic escape for outdoor enthusiasts. With an impressive impound capacity exceeding 479 million gallons of water and a safe yield of 1.5 million U.S. gallons of water per day, Whiting Reservoir is a valuable resource for the community.
The history of Whiting Reservoir dates back to its completion and full operational status in 1888. In 1897, an access road was added, facilitating easier navigation and enjoyment of the area. The reservoir was created by constructing a sandstone dam and an earthen berm, effectively impounding Raging Brook. Notably, it was the first reservoir in the Holyoke Water Works system to be established through dam construction.
While Whiting Reservoir initially served as the third water source for the Holyoke Water Works, the changing landscape of water regulations in the 1980s led to a shift in its role. In response to new filtration requirements, the reservoir was placed on standby in the early 1990s, transitioning into a backup source.
The area around Whiting Reservoir has evolved into a popular spot for various outdoor activities, drawing residents and visitors alike. Nature enthusiasts flock to the reservoir for activities such as walking, running, hiking, and capturing the natural beauty through photography.
To maintain the purity of the water, certain regulations are in place. Fishing, for instance, is prohibited to safeguard against aquatic invasive species. Additional regulations govern the use of the surrounding property, including the prohibition of dogs, horseback riding, camping, smoking, sledding, and motorcycle riding.
Notably, the trail and access road encircling the reservoir were rededicated in 2018 as the Rudy Lengieza Cross Country Course. This dedication pays tribute to Rudy Lengieza, a revered coach of high school boys and girls cross-country at Holyoke Catholic High School. His dedication to the sport spanned over 50 years, making this course a fitting honor.
Visitors to Whiting Reservoir can make use of two convenient parking areas. One parking area is situated on Mt Park Road to the east of the reservoir, while the other is located on Old Easthampton Road to the west. Both parking areas offer easy access to the reservoir, ensuring a pleasant visit to this peaceful and historically significant site in Holyoke.