Sunday, August 3, 2014

Two Days,Two Hikes. One Bad,One Good. Both Humid as Heck!

I was hoping to do and overnight hike on the Monadnock-Sunapee Trail this week but the weather looked very iffy so I decided to stick close to home and do two short hikes instead.  

The first hike, at Hale Reservation & Noanet Woodlands, was also my first time visiting the area. These adjacent properties in Westwood and Dover MA offer many miles of trails to explore. The fact that they are only an hour drive from my house was a bonus. I have to say I was disappointed with the hike. Much to my surprise there was very little topography and I was quickly bored with the flat trails. I'm not sure if the super humid air had anything to do with it but the biting insects were out in full force. They attacked me relentlessly throughout the morning and forced me to shorten the hike from the planned 10 miles down to around 6.5. I was never so happy to get out of the woods!

 Hale/Noanet Route

 View of Storrow Pond through the trees.

Calm on Storrow Pond.

 Giant erratic, perhaps 20 feet high.

Collapsed pavilion on Strawberry Hill Trail.

The second hike was at Breakheart Reservation in Saugus. I haven't been to Breakheart in three years and it was nice to be back. One notable change since my last visit here is the presence of beaver in the Saugus River. The ranger told me they have been there for two years. Beavers can be a nuisance and create problems but I really like the chubby rodents. Breakheart can be a very busy place on the weekend but the moring rain kept most people away. I have found hiking on a raining day to be a very peaceful time for me. I should do it more often. 

Breakheart Route

Climbing Breakheart Hill Trail in the rain.

 Remains of old motor and chassis used to operate a rope tow when Breakheart Hill was used for skiing in the 60s.

 Inline six with pistons frozen in place.

 Another large erratic. Note trekking poles on left for scale.

  Steps on the Fox Run Trail. Another change since my last visit.

Looking down on Pearce Lake from Eagle Rock.

 Pearce Lake

Silver Lake

Beaver Dam on Saugus River
Hike on!

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