This 4.5 mile loop incorporates some of Amherst’s best offerings: the downtown commercial strip, a slice of the UMass campus, and rural roads through scenic rolling farmland. It’s a fairly square loop. Start in Amherst Center on North Pleasant street, heading north towards UMass. At the first light, bear LEFT onto Massachusetts Avenue, which cuts through campus, past the Southwest residential area and athletic fields. Continue straight where Mass Ave becomes North Hadley Road, cross over Route 116, and turn left onto North Maple Street. This stretch by the Hadley Farm offers views of wide open farmland bordered by the towers of UMass and the surrounding hills. When you arrive at the lights near the cemetery, turn left onto Rocky Hill Road. At the next set of lights, continue straight up Amity Street, a heartbreaker of a hill which leads back to the center of town.
Note: North Pleasant Street, Mass Ave, and Amity Street all have wide sidewalks in great condition. North Hadley Road and North Maple Street both have a nice wide shoulder, and traffic here is very light. Use a bit of caution on Rocky Hill Road. The shoulder is narrow in a few short sections, but cars are used to seeing runners along this road.