By Emily McLaughlin
Summer in Amherst, MA. is incredible. Not only are there no classes, but the population decreases by several thousand, the landscape is in full bloom and the weather is… well… perfect most days. Amherst is a very active and involved community, so there is never any shortage of things to do. Between hiking, bike riding and running down nature trails–you almost don’t need a gym membership.
In my down time, I have gone on some amazing hikes and runs. My favorite thing to do is trail run. There are dozens of trails in the area that provide benefits beyond entertainment on a sunny Amherst day. For example, trail running is easy on joints and less painful for those with shin splints. Trail running is also a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the streets and breathe in some fresh air.
If you are in Amherst for the summer, AmherstMa.gov has mapped out all the trails in the area. Use this site in particular to map out a trail run. You can check the elevation at certain points and measure the total distance of your run (similar to MapMyRun or NikePlus).
Hit the trails with some friends or head out for your own personal therapy session. Enjoy all that the Pioneer Valley has to offer. Below are some photos from my recent runs–I always bring my iPhone on my trips… mostly because I am prone to get lost, but also so I can capture the beauty of the Pioneer Valley with my camera.