Mount Norwottuck, Amherst, Mass.

Video

 

Summary

Mount Norwottuck, in Amherst, Massachusetts is a interesting day hike offering nice views of the Pioneer Valley. It is popular with beginners and students at several nearby colleges.

Take Massachusetts, Route 9 to the center of Amherst. Head south on Massachusetts Route 116. You’ll pass through a couple crazy rotaries, then climb a hill. At the top of the hill take a left into the parking lot of the Notch Visitor’s Center of the Joseph Allen Skinner and Mt. Holyoke Range State Parks.

The parking lot is paved and the parking is free.

When the visitors center is open, it is a great place for information. Flush toilets are also available in the building.

Stop at this kiosk located behind the building and pick up a trail map.

Just beyond the kiosk you will find a trail with red, white and blue blazes.

For the first part our hike we will follow the white blazes of the Metacomet Monadnock Trail east to Mount Norwottuck and beyond. The trail enters the woods, climbing and descending some small hills.

Soon the trail will follow this power line for 100 to 200 feet before making a sharp right turn back into the woods.

You will soon emerge onto this woods road that skits an active quarry. Keep following the white blazes.

All trail junctions in this park are marked with these location ID tags. These numbers appear on the map you picked up at the trail head kiosk. The Massachusetts DCR has done a terrific job making the trails in this park.

The trail climbs at a moderate grade before reaching the summit of Mt. Norwottuck, elevation 1,106 feet. A rock ledge offers a view of the Pioneer Valley.

We will continue following the white blazes of Metacomet Monadnock Trail East as we descend Mt. Norwottuck. You will pass by many glacial boulders as you descend.

The trail passes through a split boulder. It’s a tight squeeze getting through these rocks!

After passing through boulder you will be at the Horse Caves. According to legend, This area was a hideout for men fighting with Daniel Shays in Shays’ Rebellion of the 1780’s.

Keep following the white blazes until you get to the train junction marked Location ID 206. From here, the Metacomet Monadnock Turns right. Continue straight following the red blazes of the Robert Frost Trail.

Keep following the red blazes until you reach the Visitor’s Center and parking lot.

Photos

Map

Driving Distances and Times

 

Links

 

Important Safety Information

The information provided is based on observations made on the day I shot the video and my recollections of previous visits to this area. Please be aware; New England weather can change very quickly. Also, trails may be closed or re-routed. The information provided here is made without warranty to completeness and/or accuracy. You and you alone are responsible for your safety whenever you venture outdoors. This includes but is not limited to having proper, clothing, equipment, provisions, physical fitness, experience and sound judgement. Learn more about hiking safely at www.hikesafe.com

 

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