Wednesday, April 26, 2017

2017 Hike #14: Northwest Park - Windsor, CT

Date Hiked: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Estimated distance:  4.5 miles
Weather: 48°F, light rain
Resources: Northwest Park, Trail Map
Highlights of the trip:  hiking with a nice group
Progress toward 2017 Outdoor Goals:  14/52 hikes; 44.72/250 miles hiked

Northwest Park Trail Map

One of my Outdoor Goals for this year was to participate in a group hike.  I had hoped to join the folks of the Simsbury Land Trust last month for their hike at Ethel Walker Woods, but high winds prevented us from hiking that day.  Today's hike at Northwest Park was looking a little questionable because of rain, but I drove over and the group was waiting in the parking lot.

It rained on and off during our hike, but it was a light rain.  The hike took us along Rainbow Reservoir, first on the yellow Wetland Forest Trail and then on the pink Rainbow Reservoir Trail.  We headed back along the green Woody Succession Trail, and the orange Softwood Forest Trail, before connecting again with the other side of the Wetland Forest Trail.

Green frog

Tree in bud near Rainbow Reservoir.

Along the Woody Succession Trail

Softwood Forest Trail

Bog along Wetland Forest Trail
This was a very enjoyable hike with a nice group of people.  I hope to be able to make some of their other hikes.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017 Hike #13: Granville SF - Granville, MA

Date Hiked: Sunday, April 9, 2017
Estimated distance:  4.63 miles
Weather: 63°F, clear
Resources: Granville State Forest, Trail Map
Highlights of the trip:  waterfalls
Progress toward 2017 Outdoor Goals:  13/52 hikes; 40.22/250 miles hiked

A glorious day for a hike!  My hiking partner, her husband, and I headed off to Granville State Forest in Massachusetts.

We started our hike by walking along the east side of the Hubbard River.  There was plenty of water flowing and it made for a beautiful hike.

We went as far south along the river as the cut that has been made for the pipeline.  We turned back and then followed the trail along the western side of the river.  On this side, you are not as close to the river, but there are a few spots that allow you to go out and look at the water.  My friend's husband was able to find some geocaches on this side of the river that had eluded him on our previous hike here.

We followed the trail to a bridge over Halfway Brook, which flows into Hubbard River, and then headed west to West Hartland Road.  Not a geocache, but my friend and I found some moose scat along here and thought that was a pretty cool thing to find.  We got to the road and walked back to our car.

Halfway Brook

Although I like hiking in new places, it is also nice to have some "go-to" trails that don't require a lot of planning.  I think Granville has become one of those trails.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2017 Hike #12: McLean Game Refuge - Granby, CT

Date Hiked: Sunday, April 2, 2017
Estimated distance:  3.58 miles
Weather: 52°F, clear
Resources: McLean Game Refuge, Trail Map
Highlights of the trip:  red eft and wood frog chorus
Progress toward 2017 Outdoor Goals:  12/52 hikes; 35.59/250 miles hiked

It has been a few weeks since I took this hike and I am relying on the pictures to jog my memory of what I saw.

I entered the refuge from Canton road and decided to make a clockwise loop.  At the bottom of the hill, before getting to Spring Pond, I took a left and followed the woods road toward Barndoor Hills Road.  The recent rain and melting snow have swollen the streams and taken this area of CT from Extreme to Moderate drought conditions.

Bridge over Bissell Brook
I didn't go all the way to Barndoor Hills road, but instead continued my loop from the woods road on to the purple trail.  I followed this through the woods and around a field before coming down to Kettle Pond.  Last fall, the pond was a field.  Now it has water in it and the wood frogs were making a racket.

As I approached the pond, I almost stepped on a little red eft.  I hadn't expected to see him out with snow still on the ground.

Red eft near Kettle Pond.

Kettle pond full of wood frogs.
I continued on the purple trail to the main woods road that runs between Trout and Spring Ponds and then back up to Canton Road to complete my loop.