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So as not to repeat myself excessively, I am reducing the amount of description of trails that have already been posted. Please use the search function ( upper left) to find older posts which have more detailed trail descriptions and pictures. You can also use this to find specific hikes either by trail or mountain.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/27/13 Valley Trail and Beech Cliff

Gray day ( we later got some peeks of sun) but starting this afternoon the forecast is for several days of above freezing temperatures with snow and rain so we wanted to get in a good one before all the slush.

All the snow, rain, thawing, freezing, thawing, etc. has made it difficult to know what conditions you will find  on any trail. The start from Long Pond gave us several options. We started up the Valley Trail and the first part had a lot of ice but it was easily got round by walking in the snow beside the trail. As we gained a little elevation there was more snow and little ice.

This is a pretty trail with variations like these formations looking up the side of  Beech Mtn. Most of the time  you are on the side of the mountain because you can also look down at woods below.

Some lichen I couldn't resist

 Kelley contemplating a leap up- it's more of a challenge than it appears in the picture - she did make the jump.

We followed the trail to the parking lot from which we could get the Beech Cliff Trail- this is a short section with nice views for little effort

We decided to do the short loop trail and that was a mistake as it was difficult for Kelley who required several boosts up large boulders but we managed it anyway.

We then walked back to the Canada Cliff Logging Road ( added to the map by me so it's location is approximate ) which would take us to the Lurvey Spring Rd.

 My thought was that since the road is  closed in winter it would have had snowmobile use and give us an easy walk back to the pond - this proved to be the case.

Back at the pond

Some fishermen

I thought we might walk along the trail beside the pond to a spot where we like to lunch but the trail had lots of drifted snow and we gave that up.

Instead we had lunch by the pond and then headed home. It had been a good hike  2  1/2 hours

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2/26/13 Sunkhaze

Another pretty day with sun and little wind. Not wanting a long drive we went to Sunkhaze to check out  those trails. We started with the Carter Meadow Road which takes you to the loop trail past the observation platform. There was still a lot of snow but enough use to pack it well and make for easy walking.

The view from the platform was a little stark, though a skier had been by and someone had walked out a short distance.

Kelley can't climb to the platform so she waited patiently beside it.

The rest of the loop back to Carter Meadow Rd. had less use but the walking was still not too difficult.

We then drove the short distance to the Johnson Brook Trail. This trail had had much less use ( a skier and a hiker or two ) and it was much more of a slog. Kelley wisely stayed behind me and followed in my footsteps.    It was still pretty, especially the cedar swamp section

No one had been on the spur to the beaver pond so we skipped it too and completed the loop back to our car. I think we were both tired and ready for lunch. A pretty hike  2  1/2 hours

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/25/13 Snowmobile Trails and Old Rail Bed

A beautiful sunny day with little wind and temperatures in the upper 20's. We got about two inches of new snow- just enough to freshen everything but not enough to make walking difficult.

We started from the end of Fox Hollow Rd. again and took snowmobile trails to the old rail bed. This time when we reached the 'proceed at your own risk' sign we continued on across the bog and to the new dog park at Essex Woods. There was a man with  his large Goldendoodle. After a slow start Kelley and Tucker played very well together. A couple of other people showed up with their dogs but Kelley mostly played with Tucker as I chatted with his owner.

On our way back across the bog we saw a skier coming our way and Kelley charged ahead to greet him. Luckily it was a nice man we had met before and he gave Kelley some attention.

As we continued on, I realized that having enjoyed watching the dogs and chatting I had not taken a single picture of the dogs playing . I did take a few of some of the other things we saw and of  Kelley.

 On the bog

Old Rail Bed

A very nice outing . 3  1/4 hours walking and playing at the park.

Monday, February 25, 2013

2/24/13 Downtown

Snowing with less than an inch accumulated- just enough to hide the icy patches and make them more slippery. We just went downtown to walk around for an hour. This involved a lot of sniffing on Kelley's part as well as greeting  friendly folks.

These signs are at the bottom of a curved ramp coming down from a parking area.  They really don't want you going up.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/23/13 Glenburn Trails -part 2

Gray day but mild ( around 30) and no wind.  A different section of the trails- we parked by the road a bit down from where we parked yesterday. These trail were wider ( perhaps old woods roads) and provided good footing except for this section of frozen bog.  Easy for Kelley ( even though she normally avoids ice)  and I managed to get across it with dry feet and without falling.

More typical trail

We continued on past Pushaw Road until we came to this sign near the edge of the lake.

Kelley was willing to continue but I was not

We cut across a field to get a good view of the lake. The very tiny figures out on the ice are fishermen.

I intended to do a loop from the end of the trail back to the trail we came in on but could not find the trail- perhaps beyond where we stopped. We walked back to the other end of it- the Charles. A Simpson Memorial Trail- and walked it to where it turned east and then retraced our steps. There had been an area of timber harvesting which marred part of this trail There was another side trail Kelley wanted to do and I thought it might be #8 . It took us to a cul-de-sac at the end of a dirt road. Back to the main trail we met a nice woman and her dog Gracie. We walked most of the way back with them -Kelley enjoyed being with  Gracie and I enjoyed the chat. Took several pictures but difficult to get both dogs in the same frame in any kind of descent pose. 

A  good outing 3  1/4 hours

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2/22/13 Glenburn Trails

A nice sunny day with little wind. Decided to try the Glenburn Trails again. We usually park at Lancaster Brook Rd. but it looked like I might not get out of the parking area which was very icy. We continued on to Hudson Rd. and got permission to leave the car in the lot of a small market next to the trail.

You start across a large field and that had some icy spots but once we got in the woods the footing was good with just a few icy patches to work around.

We came to a fork but had a hunch it wasn't  correct and kept to the right- there are no numbers posted on the trails and few signs. We continued on to a second fork and took the right branch. This led us through the iciest section of the hike with some ice covered marshy areas to a large hill. At the top of the hill we looked across a large field with houses in the distance.

This didn't look right  ( we were hoping to reach Pushaw lake) so we went back to the fork and took the left branch. This turned out to be the nicest section of trail -mostly pretty woods and easy walking with no ice.

We followed that trail to Pushaw Rd. , crossed that, and thought we were not far from the lake until we saw this sign

The distance to the lake  meant we were probably not on the trail we thought but on trail 2 . Not wanting to add three miles to the hike we turned back.

When we got back to the first fork we tried the other branch but it just took us to the school.  Back at the market I went in to talk to the owner who was familiar with the trails. He said we had been on Trail 1 at the top of the hill and would have reached the lake had we continued and confirmed the second trail had been #2. He also suggested we try the other trails a bit further down Hudson Road.

In spite of my confusion it was a pleasant hike. Kelley was happy because it was like new ( had been a year since we'd done it) and offered lots of new things to explore.  2  1/2 hours

Friday, February 22, 2013

2/21/13 Northern Headwaters Trail

Cold gray morning. We hadn't been to the Sheepscot Headwaters area in awhile and hoped there would have been enough use to provide descent footing. We started from the Whitten Hill trail head because there is a small ( relatively new) parking lot there - for other trails in the area you have to park beside the road and that is difficult when there is much snow.

No one had been on the trail leading down to the Bog Brook Loop but a few days ago there had been traffic on the trail going up the hill and staying in the snowshoe tracks made the footing not too bad. We also got some peaks of sun and thought it might clear.

There are old stone walls along the first part of the Northern Headwaters Trail. These are fairly common in the area but this one is in better condition than most.

The  crust was fairly supportive here if we stayed in the previous tracks - I  broke  through some but Kelley was fine and she learned the snowshoe tracks were better than  the  ski track.

Waiting while I take a picture

I walked closer to the river to get a picture  and Kelley followed me down but did not go in- she did not like all the ice.

The last third of the hike was harder going for me as the crust no longer supported my weight- not sure why though the snow seemed a bit deeper in the more open areas. There was a small bridge that Kelley would not cross and I had to help her through some deep snow to get around it.

The sky had clouded back up ( it began to snow on the drive home) and none of the side trails had been used so we decided our 2  1/4 hike had been enough. One  more picture of Kelley and we headed back to the car.

It spite of the extra work it had been good to be in the woods- quiet and pretty and as usual we met no one.