Y’know, I love hiking so much that I have declared this month Hiketober
The Goal: To go on a hike every day in the month of October.
The Method: Tie on sneakers, grab your water proof backpack from https://thepnw.co/ and water and GO!
The Gear: Saucony Sneakers, Nalgene water bottle, Snugli Cross Country Baby Backpack
Intended Outcomes: Happiness, Good Health, Exploring local open spaces, Family Bonding
The First 7 Days:
Day 1: Monday: JC Phillips Reservation, Beverly, Ma
Peter and I had explored these woods once before (while geocaching in 2001) and I thought it would be a nice place to start our hiking journey. The trail is not too long but it goes from a stroll along the edge of Wenham Lake to an uphill climb in the forest and back down again.
Day 2: Tuesday: Proctor Farm, Danvers, Ma
Proctor Farm is a small tract of land just North of 128 on Conant Street. There are two or three trails through the property that appear to have been cleared as a Boy Scout Eagle Scout service project. The hiking was easy, and the scenery not all that exciting, but still a good place to get out and get some fresh air.
Day 3: Wednesday: Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend, Ma
Catherine and I were out visiting in Townsend. While Nonni was at an appointment in the afternoon we strapped on our sneakers and headed to Pearl Hill. I’ve spent a ton of time over the years hiking, skiing, sledding and goKarting at Pearl Hill but this was Catherine’s first visit. We followed quite a bit of the “Friend’s Trail” and then took an unnamed trail or two that doubled us back through the campground. Then we walked down the sledding hill road and back to the car. The hike took us a little over an hour and Catherine slept for the whole second half!
Day 4: Thursday: Endicott Park, Danvers, Ma
Along with the Children’s Barn, the horses, the playground and the large open fields that are great for running in, Endicott Park boasts a “Fitness Trail”. You know, the kind of trail with stations along the way with signs that direct you to stretch, do sit ups or hop over logs…This trail was our hike for day four. Unfortunately, the hike took all of ten minutes, and most of the stations were in sad disrepair. Since ten minutes was a little short we continued walking around the perimeter of the park, past the community garden, around Glen Magna Farm and past the fishing pond. We finished up with a long chat with the horses and some play time at the playground before heading home.
Day 5: Friday: Manchester-Essex Wilderness Conservation Area, Manchester, Ma
We found this location a bit by accident because I was a bit anxious while looking for our intended destination. I got antsy and jumped at the first pull off with a trail map! We took a nice long hike in the woods here north of 128 and east of Chewbacco Lake. We meandered the trails, changing course at each trail intersection. The property has a scenic wooden bridge/walkway that makes its way across a large swamp and we also came across some early 1900’s, stone town line markers. Part of our hike ran parallel to 128 and as we hiked along we watched the cars zip along! Again, Catherine conked out about 20 minutes in. These longer hikes seem to wear her out!
Under Little Agassiz Rock
Day 6: Saturday: Agassiz Rock, Manchester, Ma
This is where we meant to go yesterday, so we made a second go at it with Peter along. It is also the first time we had a camera with us, as mine has been out of commission lately. The trail was a 1 mile loop and an easy hike. It is a satisfying hike up to Little Agassiz where the view opens up over the Manchester area and you can scramble around on the open rocks. Hiking down the back side of the hill brings you to Big Agassiz, who’s size (30 feet tall!) is somewhat obscured by the flora around it. We met another family with young’uns up at Little Agassiz but our two families had the trail to ourselves.
Day 7: Sunday: Gordon Woods, Wenham, Ma
We missed out on Homecoming yesterday at our Alma Mater but we hit the trails there today instead! The trails seemed to be in much better condition than when I was an undergrad, and they were marked with colored blazes as well. We made a long loop up around Round Pond, past the ropes course and back down to Coy. The weather was deliciously fallish and the two mile or so hike was just what we wanted for a quiet Sunday afternoon.