Monday, May 31, 2010

Whiteface in the Belknaps

A few weeks back we had a rare free afternoon on a Saturday. We looked at each other and said "let's head for the hills!" We decided to check another one off of the Belknap list and drove up to The trailhead for Piper/Whiteface trail.

The hike up was pretty easy. A gradual ascent up to the jeep roads and then a slightly steep climb to the summit. The weather was hot and humid. At the summit we found lots of biting bugs... though they mainly were after the husband.

While everything was very green, there were very few wildflowers in bloom which did surprise me. I did manage to take a quick shot of these pretty ones that were on the summit near where I was seated.

As you can tell from our pictures, the skies were very clear and we could see far off into the distance. We could see Winnisquam and further!

It was a great day for a quick hike. Hopefully we'll have more hiking tales this summer!
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Midstate Trail Part 5

Spring is here in New England, though I hear tomorrow is supposed to feel like summer with 80 degree temperatures. Two weekends ago, I gathered the troops together and we hiked another segment of the Midstate Trail. We started with gray clouds at the Spencer Country Inn and hiked approximately 12 miles.

The trail was pretty flat with small changes in elevation. We became a bit misguided in the beginning due to a lack of signage but we found our way after a few moments of wandering by a resevoir. We also found signs of beaver....

We hiked over the top of the dam and enjoyed the "most New England" scenery. There were wide views of farm land and sheep all around Moose Hill!

There was some street travel as well but for the most part the roads were quiet ones. I found a small snake catching some sunshine on the side of one of the roads. There also were amusing No Dumping Signs. Of course I took a picture...

Once we entered one of the state land, we found trails that were less traveled. This is the shelter near Moose Hill.

With all of the rain and flooding that southern New England has had this month,we thought we would encounter more muddy trails. Truth is the trails were pretty clear of debris and fairly dry. We did pause to play Pooh Sticks on this bridge in Spencer State Forest. The water was rushing pretty quickly.

There were all sorts of signs of life popping up along the trails. Trees just started to develop their buds and shades of green were emerging. I took a picture of this plant growing in one of the many swampy areas that we hiked though.

The last few miles of this hike, the sun started to hide behind the clouds and the temperatures dropped significantly. We hiked quickly, sometimes it caused us to miss turns on the trail. Even ones very well labeled!

Eventually, we found the Sampson's Pebble. At that point we realized how much further we still needed to hike. It was tough to judge distance at times. Mountain hiking gives you a different measurement of distance than this low land hiking.

We reached a sign for the midpoint of the Midstate within a half mile of our finishing point. It was amusing because we could see our car waiting patiently for us but we couldn't get there without following the winding trail due to water.

Not a bad start for the season. The Midstate is going to start getting a bit more challenging as we get closer to Wachusett and Watatic. I've hiked both of those mountains in the past but not in connection with the Midstate. I'm excited that I'm nearly completed on this trail. Now it's time to plan the next trip!