Last entry in the hike-Mount-Wachusett hiking diaries!
Today I finished hiking all the trails on Mount Wachusett. It was my “project” for the fall. And it has blessed my socks off, including the fact that I finished something I set as a goal (I tend to get these grand ideas and then get bored and move on to the next one).
Here are the trails we hit today:
I needed to hit the remaining section of Semuhenna Trail and the rest of Balance Rock Road.
Plus, I realized I hadn’t done that little piece of trail (off of Harrington Trail) that goes up to the wind farm. Stopped the car on the drive back to do it.
You will note Dickens Trail is not highlighted. That heads in the direction of the bird sanctuary, not up the mountain, and after a little ways in, dogs aren’t allowed. So I didn’t bother.
And here, in all it’s yellow marker glory, is the physical map I’ve been carrying with me and highlighting:
I hiked dirt roads but not the paved roads for driving to the top. No fun walking on pavement and dodging vehicles when you have trails at your disposal.
So I entered at North Road and hiked up to the Mount Monadnock view.
(I wanted to get a panorama but making it small shrinks Monadnock to almost negligible. Look hard and you can see a blue bump.)
You can see the sign for Semuhenna Trail in the distance, to the left once you hit the road. There is another one across the road for heading up.
We begin by entering into a pine forest.
I knew that some of these trails would be slow going with a couple of dogs. But I took them both, anyway, because there was also a lot of road. What really slowed me down was a huge amount of leaves on the ground. And look at this! Ice!
And so it begins. I finished this last hike just in time.
The dogs like to try to rub off their haltis (their “bridles”) all the time. I wish I could just walk them on their regular collars, but they’re too strong for me. I’ve been pulled down. So, they’ve brought this on themselves and I don’t feel guilty. Although I do feel sorry – for all of us. And especially because I’d love to walk them off-leash.
We transition to Old Indian Trail for a bit.
Another one of these markers. I’m beginning to wonder if they are part of the Mid-state trail system. (BTW, I’m considering that for next year’s project. That’ll have to be mostly on weekends, though, but maybe I can hit some of the closer part of the trail on weekday mornings.
A piece of bark with trail marker on the ground.
Now we’ve hit Balance Rock Road. We turn left.
I was looking for my tree picture of the hike. This was it. I couldn’t help but feel it was a metaphor for life after being with an older woman yesterday that has real trouble walking and getting up and down from a sitting position, and yet she is still standing.
Half of the bottom of this old tree has separated. But it is still standing.
There were a couple of groups of kids hiking with their parents/group leaders. I loved hearing their happy voices. And I loved the fact that they were out here hiking. (I’m going to bring all my grandchildren hiking!)
Then I heard a little boy’s voice: “I don’t like walking. Why couldn’t we have driven up to the top of the mountain?”
Hopefully after this hike he’ll change his mind.
These two people were mountain biking. The mountain has something for everyone! And, being a Sunday, there were lots of people there. Saw a few townspeople I knew hiking, too!
This pond was filled with water. In the spring, there is a waterfall over the rocks. In the summer, it dries up to a skanky puddle that I won’t let the dogs in.
But today, they got to go for a swim.
Here we come back to North Road. We head right to go back to the car.
Then we drive to Harrington Trail to hike up to the windmills.
I had really trying to capture the scale of them. There is actually a little kid in this picture, but he’s only the size of a dot.
The windmills were moving today, but I braved them and went up and touched one of them. This is the view looking up.
And the second windmill.
And the view from up there, looking south-ish.
The dogs were walking around trees and each other like doing that dance around the may pole where you braid the ribbons. They were especially bad on this part. Either because it was new to them, or because they were bored with hiking. The leaves were also really slippery here. At one point I looked and saw that the dogs feet were covered. Then I looked at my own and couldn’t see them, either!
So, we end with this. Time to stop the hiking on the deep woods trails, for my own safety. Well, until the snow falls, at least. I bought myself these:
Plus, I have snowshoes. I’m ready for my next adventure!