New England Trail 2017

  • Next Up: New England National Scenic Trail (8/7/2017) - There are 11 National Scenic Trails, and the New England National Scenic Trail, or NET, is the shortest. Its southern terminus is in Guilford, Conn., right on the ocean. The trail then runs up through the state and through Massachusetts before ending at the New Hampshire border.
  • Day 1: Broomstick Ledges to Southern NET Terminus (9/4/2017) - Another thru-hike begins, this time on the NET, or New England Trail! It was so good to get back out on the trail. Joining me were my husband, Ed, and his older sister, Terry. Ed and I will thru-hike the trail, while Terry was planning to hike with us just this first day.
  • Day 2: Connecticut River to Mount Pisgah (9/5/2017) - Today was great, but tough. Where to begin ... The New England Trail (NET) is basically a vertical line from Long Island Sound in Connecticut to the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. But there's one spur that juts to the northeast at Broomstick Ledges, about 18 miles north of the Sound.
  • Day 3: Mount Pisgah to Reed Gap (9/6/2017) - Today's plan was an easy 17-miler to Reed Gap. Or at least the plan seemed easy last night. But when we woke up, the weather forecast was for rain all day. And sure enough, the minute we got out of the car to start hiking, the heavens opened up. The rain wasn't too bad, though, since it was warm and humid out. So we didn't get too cold.
  • Day 4: Reed Gap to Spruce Brook Road (9/7/2017) - Today started out well, but ended up tough. So much of long-distance hiking is mental. Our itinerary called for 21.2 miles. I was hiking 30-35 on the Ice Age Trail, and 25 on the Florida and North Country Trails, so 21.2 should be nothing, right? Well, no.
  • Day 5: Long Bottom Road to Spruce Brook Road (9/8/2017) - Today our itinerary called for hiking to Spruce Brook Road. But first of all, Happy Birthday to me! I'm fortunate to be able to spend yet another birthday hiking along a National Scenic Trail. I was on the Ice Age Trail on my birthday in 2013 and 2015. I guess in odd-numbered years I hit the trail on my birthday!
  • Day 6: Metropolitan District Reservoir to Long Bottom Road (9/9/2017) - Heading to Long Bottom Road today. It was another beautiful day on the trail, with temps in the low 70s and sunny skies. We drove to the day's starting point, a parking lot across the highway from a reservoir. It was packed, as the trails here are popular for hiking, mountain biking, dog-walking, etc. But we found a space.
  • Day 7: Sunrise Park to Metropolitan District Reservoir (9/10/2017) - Heading out from Sunrise Park today, it was crisp and cool. As soon as we started hiking, we ran into a large group of hikers. They were part of a club and/or Meet-Up group. One woman had lived in Appleton, Wis., for a while, so it was fun to meet someone Wisconsin.
  • Day 8: East Mountain Wildlife Management Area to Sunrise Park (9/11/2017) - Today we were heading out from East Mountain Wildlife Management Area back toward Sunrise Park. So, every day on the trail is interesting. And this was definitely one of those days! We started off from East Mountain in Massachusetts, which was a little weird. Due to our shuttling system, we keep heading north, yet we hike south. So we still had a little trail in Connecticut to do, but we'd hit it at the end of the day.
  • Day 9: Lake Holland to East Mountain Wildlife Management Area (9/12/2017) - Today's itinerary called for hiking from Lake Holland to the East Mountain Wildlife Management Area. But just when you think you've had your hardest hiking day, you haven't. So yeah, today was slated to be a great day. We'd planned to hike up Mt. Nonotuck at the Mt. Tom State Reservation, shuttle around the Connecticut River (too large for a water crossing), then hike around Mount Holyoke.
  • Day 10: Quabbin Reservoir to Bay Road (9/13/2017) - We began our day heading out from Quabbin Reservoir, the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts. It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable days on the trail, despite the fact that we were covering a lot of miles (about 23). That's because while we had some big hills at the start and end of the day, the vast majority of the trail was undulating paths with good footing.
  • Day 11: Alexander Hill Road to Quabbin Reservoir (9/14/2017) - Our last two hiking days were supposed to be shorter and easier. Today's hike was slated at about 17 or 18 miles. I didn't have an exact total, because the starting and ending points were within marked segments – not at the start/end of segments – so I had to estimate.
  • Day 12: Royalston to Alexander Hill Road and then the Northern Terminus! (9/15/2017) - Today's hike – our NET finale – was convoluted, as we started out from the Royalston Falls trailhead. Technically, as this hike consists of us moving northbound every day, but hiking southbound, we should have started from the northern terminus. And that terminus is just .7 miles up the path from Royalston Falls trailhead. But we didn't want to do that, since we wanted to end the day triumphantly marching to the northern terminus.


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