Notch Visitor Center, Amherst, MA

First, you'll find ample and convenient parking at the bottom of a long stairway. At the top you may head directly to the trail or into the Visitor Center. I have mixed feelings about this place. One thing that helps is when it's actually open- you can't count on it. The restrooms are functional at best, but several times they didn't even pass that test. When the main area is open to the public, it is a fun place to spend about 20 minutes with the kids. They have many bird specimens, and even a dinosaur footprint. The staff, when there, are friendly.
During the summer, Ranger Rich offers a WONDERFUL program on Saturday mornings. Each week has a theme which encompasses a story, an art project, and hands-on nature work, such as finding a pill bug and examining it under a magnifying glass, or taking a walk to discover birds' nests.
My favorite thing to do here is walk a short trail with the kids. At .75 miles, even a two year old can handle this hike. It is a short loop- no arguments about when to turn around, and the blazes are close together and easy to follow - good for teaching your kids about following them.

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