June 10, 2019
Originally referred to as A-H-L (Arnold-Haseltine-Lorden), Betty Arnold Forest now consists of 9 parcels of town conservation land totaling over 260 acres. The majority of the land of the Arnold Forest was purchased in 1985 by the ACC with Land Account funds. It is named for Elizabeth "Betty" Arnold, one of the first ACC commissioners. Logging in 2016 created access from Austin Road, and NEMBA crews have improved the existing trails and built several new ones. Other parcels include Lorden, Lorden2, Audette, Reusch, Haseltine and Desmarais.
Cricket Hill dominates the center, and wetlands lie along it's flank to the west. The Bicentennial Trail dissects the property running North/South. The Lorden Path, dissected by the Bicentennial Trail, is a tale of 2 trails: The original section to the east, referred to as Lower Lorden, plunges downhill from Bicentennial and around the north shoulder of Cricket Hill. To the west, (Upper) Lorden Path, a 2018 addition designed for multi-use, climbs westward to the height of land via gentle switchbacks.
The classic loop is best done clockwise from the parking lot: Desmarais, Bicentennial, (Lower) Lorden Path, and Cricket Crossing back to the beginning. Add Upper Lorden Path as an out & back lollipop loop, or alternately connect to Hemlock in Joe English Reserve. Add a small climb by doing the Arnold Trail/Loop to the top of Cricket Hill.
The Arnold Loop is best done counterclockwise.