Pine Pit to Gloucester quarries/Kleimola Reservation w/side loop Woodland Acres, 8/18/20190:15:11AM)
Warm and very humid today, but not too bad in the shade of the woods, and not too buggy, either. Last night's heavy rain made for a few wet spots -- and forced us to turn back at Norwood's Mill, where water was flowing high and swift.
Back on the Rail Trail, we took a detour into Woodland Acres - also wet - so did just a short loop instead of the full circle. Rail Trail itself was high and dry most of the way, and freshly mowed. Side trails needed clipping in many areas. Greenbelt's Kleimola Reservation trails around the Gloucester quarries were all in good condition.
Group photo is next to one of the Sherburne motions, that had fish swimming in it, and "pretzel mushrooms" sprouting nearby!
On the way back a few people took a side trip up to Nickerson's Pit, while the rest returned to the cars.
About 3.2 miles total, taking 1 hour 50 minutes -- a bit longer than usual due to trail conditions (wet/overgrown in areas).
Led by Monica -- 14 people in the group.
Babson Museum to Old Rockport Rd. & 5 boulders
Briar Swamp Loop from Summit, clockwise(12/23/18, 10:10:07AM)
It was a rare beautiful sunny day today - not a cloud in the sky. With temps in high 30's, and only a slight breeze, it seemed pretty warm to some of us! Despite the rain 2 days ago, the trail was fine, with just one major wet spot (near junction with Common Rd.) - though the boardwalk through Briar Swamp was flooded and impassable, so we walked the dike instead. The trail along the east side of the swamp is narrow and hilly, with rocks & roots underfoot, while the west side along Common Road (past Whale's Jaw) is easy going. A nice mix. We happened upon quite an interesting tree ornament marking the return trail at the north end of the loop. Nice holiday touch!
Today's hike was led by Mary Catherine Kingsley - with 17 people in our group. 3.1 miles, completed in 1 hour, 40 mins., at about 2 mph. Finished just before noon.
Babson Boulder Trail from Dogtown Road, 7-8-2018
This was a perfect summer day for a hike in the woods -- sunny, dry, 70s. No bugs except for SWARMS of gypsy moths, replacing the caterpillars that defoliated all the trees. Thankfully, most trees seem to be re-leafing -- it looked like early spring again. Of the 26 boulders with inscriptions, we saw 18; somehow missed Truth, BeOn Time, Morraine, and Use Your Head (plus the 5 south of the tracks). The terrain is mostly easy going except for the short descent to the Reservoir and back up again to the Fire Road. Distance was just three miles, but still took close to 2 hours, allowing for plenty of photo stops; the perfect length. Note: the trail to Prosperity Follows Service really needs clearing!!!
Goose Cove Reservoir w/ side loop to Dogtown (12/15/19, 10:18:54AM)
Wind was not as bad as expected today, so it was a beautiful day for this hike -- sunny, 50s, balmy.
We did our loop through Dogtown (down Common Road, then Wharf to Dogtown Square, and back up via Adams Pines) -- all well marked and in good condition. Just one stretch of deep water on the trail just above Dogtown Square on Wharf Rd. Required some adventurous bushwacking to get around - but no casualties along the way!
We had a larger group than expected, about 15. Made good time, covering 3.7 miles in about 1:45 hours. We cut off the northern extra loop only because it is steep and would add too much extra time. Hike was as good as it gets at this time of year!
Squam Rd down Common Rd to Goose Cove Res. & back
Norton Forest from Revere St., reverse route (3/3/19, 10:25:19AM)
As predicted it was absolutely beautiful among the pines at Norton woods today, with 4-5 inches of fresh snow. Lots of cross country skiers on the trails, taking advantage of the good conditions.
We did our usual perimeter route, but in reverse -- which seems to have a lot more uphill sections in this direction. Still, it was fairly easy going, but a good workout with the snow. Just a couple of minor wet spots, easy to get across. Clouds rolled in toward the end of the hike, setting up for another storm tonight. Otherwise, perfect conditions - no wind, temps in the 40s -- felt almost hot with the exertion!
12 in our group today - with Monica as leader. Total distance about 3 miles, completed in 1 hr 40 mins. -- a pretty fast clip for the conditions!
Pole Hill, Riverdale (Glou), 6/30/19
A very nice hike today, led by Sandy Barry of Cape Ann Trail Stewards. To start us off, Sandy gave us the history of the site as a Native American solar observatory, helping the natives know when to move and gather in other areas with the change of seasons.
Sandy and CATS have kept the trails nicely clipped so it was easy going over the rocks. We visited the Gnomon first, then over to Summer Sunset Rock; then back to the road, and up to Summer Sunrise and on to the highest point on Pole Hill -- where there was once a pole with flag visible from the harbor that served as an aid to navigation. Vistas are spectacular -- and even more so in winter sans leaves -- so we'll have to go back for winter solstice.
Skies looked threatening today, but rains held off. Not too hot, and a nice breeze kept bugs at bay.
As promised, the hike was short, at just under a mile, and took an hour with frequent stops.
Thank you to Sandy and CATS for partnering with us on this one. It was a great group -- 27 in all.
Magnolia Woods to Rafes Chasm, 6/23/2019
A gorgeous day for this hike -- sunny, 70s, breezy....no bugs!
As expected, we had a big turnout -- so many, we lost count around 40!
Mountain laurel and sheep's laurel were in high bloom, as you can see in the photos, so end of June is definitely the best time to do this hike.
Tide was low, so Rafe's Chasm didn't provide any thundering excitement, but spectacular views in every direction more than made up for it.
This is a relatively easy hike, 3 miles round trip. Takes just about 2 hours, with 15 minute stop at the rocks.
Many thanks to Dave Marro and son Reilly for leading and keeping us together -- and to Cape Ann Trail Stewards for partnering with us for this one.