Laurel Loop is a 0.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Amherst, Massachusetts that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from January until January.
The Laurel Loop is blue-blazed trail forming a very short (0.75 mile) loop near the Notch Visitor's Center in Amherst. This is a short and easy trail, suitable for small children. There is steeper uphill climb if you go clockwise, so the easiest is counter-clockwise. This trail partly overlaps with the orange-blazed Robert Frost Trail and white-blazed Metacomet-Monadnock. Be sure to note when the trail turns (marked by a double blue blaze) and do not follow the telephone line.
This is a great 15-20 minute hike suitable for small children (less than a mile), and on a nice weekend day you will pass many families. The trail does not venture far from the visitors' center, and you won't see much wildlife or mountain views.
There are some steep (for kids) hills if you follow the blue blazed Laurel Loop trail the whole way (see my June 6 tracks for that route). You can also take a shortcut to avoid those hills by taking a right fork down a gradual hill (instead of the blue blazed trail up to the left), Take a left on the main trail at the blasting-warning signs. See my Nov 8 track for this route with the shortcut.