After five years, two months and seven days I finally finished the 231 mile Bay Circuit Trail reaching the southern terminus at Bay Farm in Kingston, MA on a warm, sunny afternoon. I'm not really sure what I was expecting or how I would feel when I stepped on the beach sand and touched the ocean's water, but in the end it was an anticlimactic finish to such a long journey. To be honest, I completed this trail out of pure subborness (some may say determination) and not because I enjoyed hiking it. At least not the last 100 miles.
That's not to say I didn't have some fun along the way. Running the first 100 miles, at times with a friend or two (or three), was truly the most enjoyable time spend on the trail. Discovering the BCT's hidden gems like Ford's Folly was very interesting to me. Getting lost and navigating my way back to the trail, although frustrating at the time, was a good learning experience. Were these moments enough to offset the many miles of road walking and countless hours hiking alone? I'm not so sure about that.
The final 18 miles of the BCT through Pembroke and Kingstown were uninspiring at best. Road walks, very little change in topography, unmaintained trail, a completely overgrown and undiscernible trail at the Rt. 27 entrance of the Veterans Commemorative Town Forest in Pembroke and a section of trail blazed in two directions (east and west!) in the Hathaway Preserve in Kingston made for a slow and confusing hike.
If I knew how long this hike was going to take I would have hijacked this jeep and drove the route.
A quiet back road in Pembroke.
A sign of things to come.
I know there's a trail in here. I just have to find it.
Well I wasn't alone 100% of the time.
A nice view in Tubbs Meadow.
And another one.
The trailhead at Veterans Commemorative Forest. Really, I'm not joking. Can you say bushwhacking?
This barn at Silver Lake is being reclaimed by the forest.
Beautiful old church in Kingston.
Less than one mile to go. The best sight I saw all day!
Grassy meadow at Bay Farm.
View of the bay from the trail.
Standing at the Southern Terminus of the BCT!
What do I do next?