This popular and huge trail reaches from Holyoke range state park all the way to Mt. Toby Forest in Sunderland. The trail goes through the 1000 acre Lawrence swamp and a few other Amherst area conservation lands. This is a great trail for both Mountain bikers and hikers who need a challenge or long for a whole day of peace and quiet in the beautiful woods this trail runs through. The southern section of this trail is 14.5 miles long and can take up to 7 hours to walk. The northern section is 18.6 miles long and can take up to 10 hours to walk so bring along something to drink if you plan on taking it real slow. To find the start of the southern trail take route 116 to the Notch Visitor Center, near the Granby-Amherst line. The trail starts behind behind the visitor center along with the Metacomet-Monadnock trail for the first half a mile before it splits onto it’s own. The two trails will eventually meet again on the climb up Long Mountain, then break apart once again as the Robert Frost trail heads into the Lawrence swamp, a wetland with lots of forest land. The trail will eventually enter into Amherst and it’s back roads until it reaches the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area on Pelham Road in Amherst. Amethyst Brook by the way is a mecca for mountain bikers of Amherst and includes countless trails to explore of all variety. Most members of the UMass Mountain bike club train in these woods for their races, and this is usually the first place local bike shops will recommend to riders looking for a good spot. The Northern section of the Robert frost trail goes north from Amethyst brook to the summits of Mt. Orient and Mt. Boreas, and heads through the Eastman Brook Conservation Area, eventually you climb Mt. Toby before descending to Reservation Road. in Sunderland where the northern end of trail ends.
Get yourself to Amherst, MA. From Amherst center, take 47 south. The trailhead is several miles up on your left. There is a parking lot and a pavilion.
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Posted By: Birchtree
- Fri Sep 26 08:15:01 EDT 2008
UpsideGreat trail. Lots of wildlife and beautiful when the leaves start to change.
DownsideBe careful to watch the trail markings, you can get a little lost if you don't pay attention.
CommentI stopped into the EMS in Hadley and the employees were very helpful in suggesting a number of trails as well as turning me on to this resource.