Monday, October 21, 2013

Mount Norwottuck, Amherst, MA

October 18, 2013
Distance: 3.2 miles
Time: 1.5 hours 

Map: Massachusetts Trail Guide (The book comes with a map which includes this area. Unfortunately the map is on thin fragile paper, but I haven't found better quality MA maps). It looks like sometimes there are maps at the trailhead kiosk, but it was empty when I was there. The DCR maps are less detailed than the AMC map, but are on much more sturdy paper.

Parking: Notch Visitor Center, Route 116, Amherst, MA. The parking lot can fit around 50 cars. That sounds like a lot, but it was nearly full on a Friday evening.
Restrooms: Visitor Center was closed when I was there. There was a Portapotty however.
Post hike dinner: Chipotle, Hadley, MA

Directions: From the parking area, head up the steps towards the visitor center. There is a kiosk to the right of the visitor center. Pass the kiosk and head towards to woods. Look for the sign for the Robert Frost Trail. Follow the white blazes for the M-M trail.

Notes: This is a very popular hiking area. We came across many students, including  group of around 40. Nice view at the summit, moderate difficulty. The "horse caves" are just beyond the summit, but I decided not to see them because I wanted to get back before dark. The hike is near both a shooting range (so you may hear gunfire) and what I believe is a quarry (thus you will see no tresspassing signs near the beginning of the trail.

Sign for parking area

Kiosk above parking area

Trailhead. There are both orange and white blazes. Follow the white blazes.

Hike description at the trailhead

In general the hike is well marked with white blazes.

On occasion you will see white triangular blazes for the M-M trail.

Summit marker

Summit view

Prayer flags on the summit

One of the signs alongside the trail.
I believe the business next door is a quarry - there were huge mountains of rocks.

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