Estimated distance: 2.75 miles (Sandisfield State Forest) + 2.41 miles (Questing Reservation) = 5.16 miles
Weather: 31°F, overcast
Resources: Sandisfield State Forest, York Lake Loop Trail Map, Trustees of Reservations (Questing), Trail Map
Highlights of the trip: frozen York Lake, views from Questing
Progress toward 2017 Outdoor Goals: 7/52 hikes; 20.4/250 miles hiked
My hiking partner and her husband are helping me toward my 2017 Outdoor Goals, not only mileage, but also getting me out to some different places. Today we visited two "new-to-me" places, a state forest in Massachusetts and one of the Trustees of Reservations properties.
|Ignore the straight line going off to the left. I thought by pausing my GPS and restarting it, I could get both hikes to appear on one map. Unfortunately, it draws a line between the two locations and counts the straight line as part of the mileage.|
We started our day with a hike around York Lake in Sandisfield State Forest. The forest straddles two towns, but our hike was in New Marlborough. When we arrived at the lake, we could see a fisherman out on the ice. We headed off from the parking area going in a clockwise direction. The trail was well marked, but except for one location near the northern end of the lake and near the parking area, there were no viewpoints across the lake.
My friend and I went on ahead while her husband searched for geocaches. We paused for a little bit when we got to the dirt road at the northern end of our loop. I was reminded again that out in this more remote area, what may appear as a road on a map may not be paved and may not be passable in winter.
We continued on around the lake and got back to the picnic area not far from where we parked. (Rest rooms closed in winter and no outhouses that I saw.) The picnic area looked like it would be a nice little spot to view the lake in the warmer months. The man who had been fishing was gone, but we walked out on the ice to take a look at the lake. The ice seemed very thick and some of the previous holes had completely frozen over. One of the strange things was that someone had plowed a straight line down the middle of the lake. It looked like a runway.
From York Lake, we drove north a few miles to the Trustees of Reservations Questing property. The first part of this hike is up an old woods road to a field.
|Looking across the field after climbing the woods road.|
Questing was a very nice, quiet hike. In the summer, the field is supposed to be filled with native wildflowers that attract butterflies. I think it would be a beautiful spot for a picnic.
Another Trustee property, Dry Hill, is nearby, but it was already after 3:00 and we decided to save it for another day.