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Amethyst Brook/Robert Frost Trail, Amherst, MA.

AMC members have hiked this trail a few times in the spring, coming with family members and pets. We love to hike to the top and have lunch overlooking the Pioneer Valley. This is a wonderful, fairly short trail great for families and people with dogs. Amethyst Brook is a beautiful conservation area on Pelham Road in Amherst, very popular for families with dogs. The trails along the brook are heavily travelled; you need to follow the signs carefully to find the Robert Frost trail to the top of Mt. Orient and not get lost on side trails. I always look for the slowly disintegrating, rusting car at the bottom of the hill. The trail goes gradually up from there, along old logging roads and foot trails, to a fantastic view of UMass and beyond from the top. The elevation gain is about 800 feet, mostly gradual until a bit of a rock scramble at the end. This portion of the trail is about 5 miles and can be done in a few hours. The Robert Frost Trail goes on for a total of 26 miles on either side of Mt. Orient, extending from South Hadley to Wendell. Trail guide, 'The Guide to the Robert Frost Trail', is available from the Amherst Town website at http://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/610.

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