Nestled in the picturesque town of Amherst, Massachusetts, the Amethyst Brook Trails showcase a rocky and technical blend of cycling terrains. Clocking in at a distance of 7 miles, this trail promises riders an intricate adventure through New England’s signature landscapes.
Predominantly a rocky, mixed-use trail, Amethyst Brook offers a dynamic web of intersecting hiking routes and single tracks. A highlight includes steep climbs that snake through typical New England rock gardens, leading up to the ridge's crest. The trail continues northwards, providing an exhilarating ride up to North Amherst. From there, riders can choose to connect with roads or reverse their journey back to the trail's start.
Centrally located, accessing the Amethyst Brook Trails is straightforward. From downtown Amherst, simply head east on Main St which smoothly transitions into Pelham Rd. Within a mile, right after crossing a quaint bridge over a creek, a clear trailhead emerges on the left. While limited gravel parking is available, those residing in or around Amherst are advised to cycle directly to the trail.
A regular among riders familiar with UMASS from the mid-90s, Amethyst Brook has historically been a beloved spot for cycling, hiking, and skiing. A unique connection to the Robert Frost Trail in North Amherst can be made, opening the way to Cushman Rd. and Leverett Rd. This detour offers glimpses of gorgeous farmlands off N. East St., complete with a rocky terrain.Many riders recall the technical challenges this trail poses, with segments like the uber-technical powerline trail standing out. An old car, streams, water crossings, bridges, and a mix of singletrack and doubletrack further diversify the experience. Notably, the ascent is demanding, but it's complemented by an exhilarating downhill segment, promising an adrenaline-pumping ride.In summary, the Amethyst Brook Trails offer an authentic New England biking experience, filled with technical challenges, rocky terrains, and breathtaking views. Whether seeking a demanding workout or a memorable day on the trails, this destination doesn’t disappoint.