Parents of young children will appreciate the fact that Amherst offers several modern and well-equipped public playground facilities. All have undergone renovation in the past 10 years, and each is situated in a recreation area that offers amenities such as ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, and hiking trails.
Please note that the three public school playgrounds are not open during hours that school is in session.
Playgrounds in Amherst
- Crocker Farm Elementary School, 280 West St. – The Crocker Farm playground was rebuilt in 2010, and has capacity for more than 100 children. It features a variety of hanging, sliding and climbing structures, an X-Wave and a 50-foot zip line. Basketball courts, soccer fields and access to the K.C. Trail are nearby. There’s a separate set of play equipment on the north side of the school.
- Groff Park, Mill Lane. – In addition to playground equipment for al ages, Groff Park features a picnic pavillion, wading pool, sandbox, softball field and public restroom. It sits aside the Fort River and overlooks the western end of the Emily Dickinson Trail.
- Fort River Elementary School, 70 South East St. – A large wooden play apparatus is surrounded by soccer fields, a baseball field and a basketball court. By the parking lot is a restroom building. A smaller play area is located by the northeast corner of the school.
- Memorial Pool, Triangle St. – Walking distance from downtown, this pool and park complex features a modest playground set. It is adjacent to Amherst Regional High School’s athletic fields and running track.
- Wildwood Elementary School, 70 Strong St. – Wildwood features an elaborate balancing and climbing structure overlooking playing fields and tennis courts.
- Mill River Recreational Area, 95 Montague Rd. – This recreation complex in North Amherst is the town’s largest. It features both a toddlers’ and children’s playground. In addition you will find a swimming pool, wading pool, baseball field, tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic area and access to the Julius Lester Trail.
Our 7-year-old son Cameron will never turn down an opportunity to visit any one of Amherst’s playgrounds, but he tells me that his favorite local playground is the large wooden, child-worn structure at the Chestnut Hill Recreation Area about 9 miles away on State St. in Belchertown.