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Robert Frost Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 5.0 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A quintessential tour of Pioneer Valley woodlands on a classic trail.


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Map Key

40.2

Miles

64.7

KM

90%

Runnable

1,380' 421 m

High

163' 50 m

Low

5,360' 1,634 m

Up

5,892' 1,796 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

41%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is the complete "RFT" trail, done north to south, that provides an often stunning and constantly changing experience of some of the best trail running in Western Massachusetts. It can be easily broken into smaller segments, each of which presents different geology and habitat.

Runner Notes

In the Lawrence Swamp area at the southern end, there are lots of plank walkways to keep you out of the mud. Much appreciated but for running, this will slow you down a bit, as they are narrow and springy, and a good test of your balance!

Description

A point-to-point tour of sometimes challenging but delightful terrain in the foothills of Western Massachusetts.

You'll happen upon gems the entire way, including crags, ponds, swamps, and views. This is classic New England forest land that will feel remote but you are often close enough for resupply. Especially recommended is the Cushman Village Market and Cafe at the halfway point.

The trail is easy to follow with orange-blazed navigation, especially the north-most 30 miles. It can also be easily shortened, and extending on the south end with the six-mile Holyoke Range ridge top known as the Seven Sisters would be even more spectacular.

There are occasional road sections between the connecting trail segments.

History & Background

The online trail guide provides excellent trail information including natural history: amherstma.gov/DocumentCente…

Shared By:

Glenn glenncaffery@gmail.com with improvements by John Pearson

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#775

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#775

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302 Views Last Month
2,814 Since May 20, 2019
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Photos

Trail is unmarked but follows the edge of large field.
Mar 7, 2020 near South A…, MA
So close to civilization but feels remote.
Mar 7, 2020 near South A…, MA
Trail continues up along the Holyoke Range ridge in the background.
Mar 7, 2020 near South A…, MA
View from one of the many knobs along the RFT.
May 20, 2019 near Montague, MA
Classic New England trail.
May 20, 2019 near Montague, MA
Crossing of Bay Road, there is room for a car or two on the shoulder. Water running in places.
Mar 7, 2020 near South A…, MA

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Mar 7, 2020
John Pearson