Robert Frost Trail to Mount Orient is a 6.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Amherst, Massachusetts that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
At 47mi in length, the Robert Frost Trail is one the five longest trails in MA. It spans 10 towns from South Hadley in the south to Wendell in the north. This page details section #7, running between the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area to Pratt Corner Rd. in Amherst. Most of this section is lightly-traveled, except for the Amethyst Brook area, which features picturesque brooks and bridges and sees many dogwalkers. The guide describes the section as "rugged, wilderness-like" and rightfully so. The summit of Mt. Orient, about halfway through, provides limited views south and west. Dogs are allowed. Mountain bikes are allowed only between May 1st through October 31st.
took our 3 year old daughter here this afternoon. it's perfect. very easy to hike. great for young children, safe bridges, open trails, nothing steep, not many jagged roots or rocks or ledges. amazing and beautiful woodland hike!
nice Trail about half the people running it
The trail is lovely but it is very hard to follow now in the area where they have been doing logging-- I assume many blazes were cut down. We managed yesterday-- first time I've done the trail in 5 years- but we got off the trail repeatedly and had to find our way back.
Very beautiful by the Amethyst Brook and then gets a little more isolated and overgrown once you get past Mount Orient. Orient itself provides OK views but is a very good place to find peace & quiet and relax with a book.
Lots of snakes in the ferned areas past Mount Orient. This section of the RFT has been mapped out but not marked on OpenStreetMaps and the AllTrails map isn't showing the full trail yet. Follow the orange blazes.
From the Amethyst Brook trailhead, I hiked 3.5 miles to the place where the trail disappears on the AllTrails map (which seems to be arbitrary), and then returned to the trailhead. (See my track.) This spot is around about 2/3 of a mile after the peak of Mt. Orient and before Poverty Mt. The hike is not the entire section 7 of the Robert Frost Trail.
This was an easy 3.5 mile (1 hour) hike to the end, and an even easier 3.5 mile (1 hour) hike back. 7 miles total. Climb to peak is 758 feet, but Alltrails Record claims the total elevation gain is 1,286 on the climb and 551 on the return. There is a little rock scramble near the end that would not be appropriate for children or elderly hikers, but most of the hike is relatively flat and well-maintained.
The first part, within the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area, is crowded with people and dogs. The rest is quiet.
The trail is very clean, wide, and well-marked.
The trail itself is difficult to follow - I could find no tree markings, and various trails branched off in many different directions. The area itself was gorgeous. It rests besides what I can only imagine is called the Amethyst Brook, a clear, bubbling brook. There are three bridges that cross the brook, and trails that run along each side. Trails seem to run in every cardinal direction, so I spent my time going up and down each one.
There were many people walking their dogs, so I felt safe. On the north side of the brook, I found a collection of stones in a spiral formation, labelled a peaceful meditation circle by a paper nailed to a tree. It was quite the sight, and I highly recommend visiting it if you can find it. Also along the north side of the brook, I found a quiet spot to sit on some rocks and catch up on some Robert Frost reading.
This trail deserves another visit: if not for its beauty, for its expanse and variety of trails that beg exploring.