Thursday, April 2, 2009

Amethyst, Amethyst

It was so nice late Thursday afternoon, we took a spin up to Amherst to walk the dog around Amethyst Brook.



I hadn't been here in a long, long time. So long ago in fact that I had forgotten exactly where it was and exactly what it was called. I knew I hadn't imagined it though, and drove around looking for it recently on Bay Road and College Highway, where my fuzzy memory convinced me that's where it would be. I was a little exasperated being unable to find it, and eventually gave up under Kelly's witheringly snide smirks ("sure there's a trail here, Tony. Suuurre..."). But recently and very unexpectedly, I drove right by the parking area. Aaah, it's on Pelham Road, just one main road over from College Highway in the East Village section of Amherst, and just outside the limits of my previous searches.

We got there shortly before sunset, with just enough time to scout out the trail for potential future outings...



(Kelly got to test out the baby-pack, and I'm pleased to report the little Bloggerette maintained a good attitude for 98% of the walk tucked away in there; and that bodes well for future hikes)...

Amethyst Brook hosts a section of the 47 mile-long Robert Frost Trail, which passes through here from the Holyoke Range, then on to the Pelham Hills, Mt. Toby and eventually into Wendall.



This is essentially a dog park, as every person we saw was accompanied by a canine. This of course whipped our little terror into a leash-pulling, growling frenzy for most of the walk...



There is what appears to be a community garden near the beginning of the trail, along side a clearing.



From there it dips into some thick woods, and you can hear the brook churgling loudly nearby.



The brook splits and maneuvers around several islets and spits of land, with branches of water breaking up and rejoining here and there. To cross the now rapidly moving springtime water-flow are a few wooden bridges set up at strategic locations...



At least one of the bridges is rather elaborate....



...and most are rather simple.



We rounded out our quick tour of the trail by following a clearing on the northern side of the woods, where I think I remember big swaths of trees were being removed the last time I was here, maybe 15 to 20 years ago. But maybe I'm imagining that, too...



It's a very pleasant little trail, with the cool stream running under tall shady evergreens. The other, longer trails including the Robert Frost Trail extending northward also go through the Puffer Pond area, then over to Mt. Orient (where a sign at the entrance warned that a bear has been seen wandering about); if one feels the urge to explore further. For us it's one more dog-park, and one more easy-baby-friendly forest trail to add to our list...

4 comments:

Mary E.Carey said...

You guys are so impressive hitting the trails -- midweek, no less. Love that first photo of Nemo.

CBL said...

I've been to Amethyst Brook a bunch of times, and I've always enjoyed it. I took the trail once to Mt. Orient, and it gets pretty steep, but the view is worth it. Excellent pictures.

Tony said...

Mary, Spring waits for no man, (or woman, or baby, or dog...)

Cecil, there was a notice at the beginning of the trail saying there was a bear siting at the northern end of Mt. Orient, so we'll probably give it a little while before we try that one..!

Anonymous said...

Nemo is a Lucky Dog. Never a boring weekend. How does he respond when you are going on one of your trips?
Kelly looks great. Being a new Mom becomes her.
Bears have new young now too. Be extra careful. Got any "Bear spray"?
When are we going to see some photos of you?
Larry.