Nestled within Amherst, New Hampshire's scenic expanse, the Betty Arnold Forest offers an 8-mile loop trail that’s an open invitation to novice and avid cyclists alike. Here's a comprehensive insight into this trail, cherished for its serene ambience and historic significance.
The forest, originally known as A-H-L (Arnold-Haseltine-Lorden), spans over 260 acres comprising 9 parcels of town conservation land. This vast expanse stands as a tribute to Elizabeth "Betty" Arnold, an inaugural ACC commissioner. A significant portion of the forest was acquired in 1985 via Land Account funds. The trail network witnessed a transformative phase when logging activities in 2016 paved the way for Austin Road access. The diligent efforts of NEMBA crews have only added to its charm by enhancing existing trails and introducing several new ones. Other notable parcels within the trail system include Lorden, Lorden2, Audette, Reusch, Haseltine, and Desmarais.
Cricket Hill, the towering centerpiece, is surrounded by wetlands on its western flank. The Bicentennial Trail, a prominent pathway, vertically dissects the property. Another interesting feature is the Lorden Path, which is bisected by the Bicentennial Trail. Here's a quick breakdown:
For the best experience, embark on the classic loop clockwise starting from the parking lot, following Desmarais, Bicentennial, Lower Lorden Path, and concluding at Cricket Crossing. Those seeking an extended ride can integrate the Upper Lorden Path, treating it as an out-and-back lollipop loop. Alternatively, link to Hemlock within the Joe English Reserve. For a touch of elevation, the Arnold Trail/Loop leading to the summit of Cricket Hill is highly recommended. And remember, for the Arnold Loop, a counter-clockwise direction is ideal.
Starting the journey is quite straightforward:
Betty Arnold Forest Trails in Amherst, New Hampshire, with its rich legacy and well-maintained pathways, offers a delightful cycling experience. Whether one is keen on a leisurely ride amidst nature or looking to dive deep into the region's history, this trail is the go-to destination. So, bring those climbing legs and immerse in the beauty of Betty Arnold Forest Trails!