Alrighty, here’s the rundown of Week 3 of Hiketober.
Day 15:a) Long Hill, Beverly, Ma b)Ferncroft Pond, Danvers, Ma
We made two hikes today to make up for missing Sunday. Catherine and I enjoyed the trails around Long Hill in the morning. We were a little concerned by the sign, “attention: Hunters allowed 5am-10am. Stay on marked trail” but it was 9:45am and since Catherine’s a pretty loud gal I figured the hunters would hear us coming long before we knew they were even there. For what it’s worth, we didn’t see any hunters.
When Peter got home from work the three of us headed to the Ferncroft Pond trail here in Danvers. It is one of several trails marked as “open space” in town. There was an overlook platform up above the pond and wetlands and a not-too-long trail that looped it’s way through the forest. Just the right length for a predinner hike. Here are a few pictures.
Day 16: Alt Woodland, Beverly, Ma
This was another little hike tucked into a little neighborhood on Grover Street in Beverly. We only had a short time before I was due at the YMCA so we hiked the loop quickly. I am still amazed at how many little trails we’ve been finding that are right in front of us, yet we’ve never known about them. This trail looped out and back and although we knew there were houses within yelling distance, it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Nice.
Day 17: Town Forest, Danvers, Ma
I had a map today. The map didn’t stop us from losing the trail and getting a bit lost. We even hiked around a bit in land marked “NO TRESPASSING!” It was all very exciting. I’m still not sure how we lost the trail, I was standing at a tree with a blaze on it, I looked around and there was no trail to be seen. The map assured me that it was a loop trail so we bushwacked our way around, determined to find the trail. After hiking under some massive power lines (see the ‘no trespassing’ comment above!) we reentered the woods and eventually found a trail that led us back to our car. We also saw a beaver dam and an 1800’s family cemetery.
Day 18: Stoney Cove & Presson Reservation, Gloucester, Ma
In all the times I have driven up 128 into Gloucester I have seen, but never stopped at Stoney Cove. I always assumed that the pulloff on the highway was just a boat ramp. Today we discovered that it is much more than that. The trail leads away from the highway and winds its way out along the water. The trail splits and you can explore the salt marsh or head out around the cove. There are several great places for sitting on the rocks by the water and Catherine and I were tempted to spend the whole day there watching the sea gulls and cormorants.
Day 19:Beverly Conservation Area, Beverly, Ma
Once upon a time, circa 2002, Peter and I went geocaching in these very same woods. We spent an hour or so looking for the cache and getting horribly attacked by mosquitoes. It was horrible and we never did find the cache and I’ve never had the inclination to go back. But time goes on and things change and Catherine and I attempted the hike again. We took a loop trail (have I mentioned how much I love hiking in circles?) that went up some surprisingly steep hills and then back down them. Compared to my last experience here it was a great time.
Day 20:Tompson Reservation, Gloucester, Ma
We were headed to Gloucester today do a little shopping at the Children’s Drop and Shop so Catherine and I snuck a little hike on the way there. At Tompson Reservation there is a ‘summit’ called Sunset Mountain. It is just a hill, but the top is all rock and there’s a descent view. The weather was practically summer-like and we hung out at the top soaking in the warm sun and coolish breezes before heading back down to the car. Ahhhh, fresh air.
Day 21:Tompson Reservation
In starting this adventure I had thought that I would try to find 31 distinct places to hike. Today we went back to Tompson Reservation because there were many trails that I didn’t hike on andI wanted to show Peter the view from Sunset Mountain. We hiked through “Boulder Field” where there were, surprisingly, tons of boulders! Big ones too, that had huge cracks in them and huge slabs that had cracked of long ago and slid down. It was very cool. There were some rock climbers making their way to the top of one of the boulders. We just hiked around the back side and looked down on them from above!