Hiking in Amherst, NH

Hiking in Amherst, NH

Amherst, New Hampshire, a quaint and picturesque town in Hillsborough County, offers an exceptional blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Among its most cherished assets are the scenic trails and diverse landscapes that beckon hikers of all skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned trailblazer or a family looking for a casual stroll, Amherst’s trails provide a perfect backdrop for adventure, relaxation, and connection with nature.

A Hiker's Paradise

Amherst boasts a variety of hiking trails that cater to different preferences and fitness levels, making it a versatile destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From leisurely woodland walks to more challenging hill climbs, each trail offers a unique experience, enveloped in the serene beauty of New England.

Pond Parish Wildlife Management Area

One of the gems of Amherst is the Pond Parish Wildlife Management Area, a sprawling 600-acre preserve that offers an immersive nature experience. The area features several well-maintained trails that wind through diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and open fields. The trails are relatively easy, making them ideal for families and those seeking a peaceful escape in nature. As you meander through the trails, keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife, including deer, foxes, and various bird species.

Joe English Reservation

For those looking for a bit more challenge, Joe English Reservation offers a series of trails that climb to the summit of Joe English Hill. The climb is moderate but rewards hikers with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, especially during the fall when the foliage presents a riot of colors. The reservation is also a historical site, offering insights into the area's past, with remnants of old cellars and boundary walls dotting the landscape.

Amherst Conservation Commission Trails

Managed by the Amherst Conservation Commission, these trails are spread across several conservation areas in the town. They are well-marked and maintained, providing safe and enjoyable hiking experiences. One of the highlights is the Hodgman State Forest, known for its quiet trails that run through dense forests and past small brooks. Another notable area is the Bragdon Farm, which offers easy trails perfect for a quick nature fix or a family outing.

What to Love About Hiking in Amherst

Hiking in Amherst is more than just an activity; it’s an opportunity to connect with nature and experience the local wildlife and flora in their natural habitat. The trails in Amherst are less crowded compared to more commercial destinations, offering a more intimate and personal encounter with nature. This makes it especially appealing for those looking to find solitude or a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The town’s commitment to conservation and maintaining natural landscapes means that the trails are not only beautiful but also sustainable. Efforts by local organizations ensure that the trails are safe and accessible while preserving the natural environment and wildlife.

Preparing for Your Hike

Before heading out on the trails, it’s important to come prepared. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience:

  • Check the Weather: New England weather can be unpredictable. Always check the forecast before you leave and be prepared for sudden changes in weather.

  • Wear Appropriate Footwear: Good hiking shoes are a must. They should provide support and offer good grip to handle rocky or slippery trails.

  • Stay Hydrated: Always carry enough water, especially during the summer months when temperatures can soar.

  • Respect Nature: Stay on marked trails to protect the surrounding vegetation and wildlife. Carry out all trash and leave no trace.

  • Map and Compass: While the trails in Amherst are well-marked, having a map and compass can be helpful, especially in the more secluded areas.

Local Insights

Local hikers often share that early morning is one of the best times to hit the trails. Not only do you beat the heat, but you’re also more likely to encounter wildlife. Additionally, local hiking groups and the town’s conservation commission frequently organize guided hikes and educational tours, which can be a great way to learn more about the area’s natural history and ecological efforts.


Amherst, NH, offers a hiking experience that is as enriching as it is varied. With trails that offer everything from easy walks to challenging hikes, coupled with stunning natural beauty and careful preservation efforts, it is a perfect destination for anyone looking to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re drawn by the call of the wild birds, the rustling of the leaves underfoot, or the peaceful solitude, Amherst’s trails await to offer you their timeless beauty. So lace up your boots, pack your gear, and prepare for an adventure that rejuvenates the body and the soul in the heart of New England.

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