Friday, December 30, 2016

Update: 2016 Hiking Goals

Final year-end update.  Not a total success, but having some goals got me out the door.  Next year I need to be more consistent and persistent.

1.  Take 52 hikes.  
55/52 hikes.  

2.  Hike for 250 miles.
218.25/250 miles.  Close, but no cigar.  I hike fairly regularly with one person, but sometimes she is not available.  I need to find a way to get out when she is not available.

3.  Hike at least 25 miles of the Tunxis Trail
31.37/25 miles.  This goal has been completed.  I feel this was a big accomplishment.  31 miles is pretty small potatoes, but I think it is pretty cool that I hiked from the Massachusetts border to Burlington (in multiple sections).

4.  Visit Bash Bish Falls (Massachusetts)
Kept putting this one off because of the drought.

5.  Hike Mount Monadnock (New Hampshire)
Got scared off of this one by some other people.  I may add it to my 2017 list, but I need to do some other tougher (for me) hikes before I do this one.

6.  Visit a "new-to-me" state park or forest in Massachusetts (Bash Bish does not count).
Hiked the D.A.R. State Forest in Goshen, MA on April 23.

7.  Hike on the Appalachian Trail
Completed on July 20.  Hike #38 - Lion's Head in Salisbury, CT.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Hike #55: McLean Game Refuge, Granby

Date Hiked: Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Estimated distance:  4.6 miles
Weather: 39°F, sunny
Resources: McLean Game Refuge, Map
Highlights of the trip:  snow scenes
Progress toward 2016 hiking goals:  55/52 hikes; 218.25/250 miles; 31.37/25 miles on Tunxis Trail

Today I entered the Refuge from Canton Road and went down the hill to Spring Pond.  It had snowed Sunday and there was still an inch or so on the ground.  It made the hike a little bit like walking on a sandy beach, but it also made things more picturesque.

 From Spring Pond I hiked up the hill and around the field to Kettle Pond then took the woods road east until I came to the North Trail and followed that to the woods road that took me over to Trout Pond.  I walked back along the woods road between Trout and Spring Ponds.  Very pretty.  Not too many tracks in the snow.

Hike #54: McLean Game Refuge, Granby

Date Hiked: Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Estimated distance:  5.37 miles
Weather: 45°F, cloudy
Resources: McLean Game Refuge, Map
Highlights of the trip:  stream, rock formations
Progress toward 2016 hiking goals:  54/52 hikes; 213.65/250 miles; 31.37/25 miles on Tunxis Trail

I started my hike over at the Barndoor Hills entrance to the Refuge today.  I climbed to the top of the western hill, overlooking the horse farm.  I went down the other side and followed the woods road for a bit before cutting north along the North Trail over to the Blue Loop and around to Trout Pond before heading back to my car.  A good hike.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hike #53: Granville State Forest - Granville, MA

Date Hiked: Sunday, December 4, 2016
Estimated distance:  5.27 miles
Weather: 39°F, beautiful, clear skies
Resources: Granville State Forest, Trail Map
Highlights of the trip:  waterfalls during the drought!
Progress toward 2016 hiking goals:  53/52 hikes; 208.28/250 miles; 31.37/25 miles on Tunxis Trail

Though you don't get the beautiful foliage this late in the fall, you still get spectacular days for hiking.  This was one of those days.  My hiking partner and her husband joined me as we started at the parking lot on West Hartland Road near the Hubbard River Trail.

We were pleasantly surprised to hear rushing water as we headed toward the trail.  We have been experiencing a drought with a rainfall deficit of around 12-inches.  Reservoirs and other ponds are extremely low.  A little rain earlier in the week didn't make much of a dent in the deficit, but gave us some beautiful waterfalls for our hike.

We followed the trail down along the river and then over to Hartland Hollow Road.  We backtracked a little bit and took the Ore Hill Trail back to our car.

We saw a few other people out enjoying the trail, but we mostly had the place to ourselves.  I have heard the waterfalls can be a bit of a hang-out in the summer, so I'll be sticking to the off-season for future hikes.  There are many more miles of trails here, so I may have to give them a try.