Description: This short clockwise loop offers a bit of history and a great view overlooking the UMass Amherst Campus.
Length: 3.5 Miles / 1-2 Hours
Elevation Gain: ~775 Feet
Dogs: Yes, Must be Leashed
Start out at The Notch Visitors Center parking lot. The trail starts just behind the center and is marked with white/orange/blue blazes. At 0.2 miles the trail turns left then quickly right to stay on the white/orange blazed trail. The trail is a wide fire road at this point leading behind an active quarry towards the power lines. Once you cross the power lines and enter back into the woods the trail narrows. At 0.5 Miles the M-M Trail (white blaze) leaves to the right, keep straight on the orange blazed Robert Frost Trail. This trail follows along the base of Mount Norwottuck. In 1/10 of a mike turn right and quickly cross a small brook to stay on the orange blazed Robert Frost Trail. At 1.5 miles turn right to continue on the orange blazed trail. At 1.7 miles turn right again following the sign leading you Mount Norwottuck on the white blazed M-M Trail,
Continue straight to follow the M-M Trail to Horse Caves.
At 2.0 miles you reach Horse Caves the trail continues through the split in the rock, According to legend, some of the men fighting with Daniel Shays in Shays’ Rebellion hid out in the Horse Caves after their defeat at the hands of the Massachusetts
militia. Check out the area and you will find tons of great hiding spots and quickly understand why this legend might just be true. Now the climb to Mount Norwottuck begins, continue to follow the white blazed M-M Trail.
At 2.4 miles you reach the summit of Mount Norwottuck, looking north you can see the UMass Amherst Towers and the town of Amherst. The M-M Trail continues west and starts the descent back to the parking area. At 3.1 miles turn left back onto the white/orange blazed trail and follow it back to the Notch parking area.