Great Meadow Stroll

Great Meadow on a foggy day
Great Meadow on a foggy day.

Map: Great Meadow Stroll.(NRPC map detail)
Length: 0.5 miles.
Identification: Blazed with red disks.
Difficulty: Easy.

This short trail is an easy hike for both children and adults. It makes for a simple extension of a village walk. The trail begins along Boston Post Road, across from Wilkins School, and near the junction with New Boston Road. The trail travels through the woods along the wet edges of the Great Meadow and Beaver Brook. It is often a good place to find wetland plants and animals.

The trail soon opens into the field that was near or part of Alice Towne's houselot. Although the buildings are gone, old foundation rocks and some perennial gaden plants can still be found a few steps to the west of the trail in the field. The field is now simply mowed to keep it open.

The Great Meadow trail ends at the Great Meadow boardwalk. This is a wonderful place to view Amherst's Great Meadow. In the past, the Great Meadow was mowed for hay with horses. The land is too wet to be mowed with heavy tractors and other modern farm equipment. Therefore, much of the meadow has now grown up with trees and brush. Only the open water and the very wetest parts remain open. Ducks, herons, and other wetland birds and creatures can often be seen from the boardwalk.