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.

Well, a short National Scenic Trail means one thing: thru-hike!

Conveniently, my nephew Ben is getting married in Massachusetts Sept. 16. Conveniently, my sister-in-law and her husband have a beach house in Connecticut on Long Island Sound that we’ve been meaning to check out. Put those two things together and what have you got? A a relaxing, two-day stay on the beach over Labor Day, then a pleasant hike to Ben’s wedding.

Preparing to Hike the New England National Scenic Trail

Ed and I are quite excited about our upcoming adventure. I have already hauled out my trusty red backpack, now faded from the relentless sunshine earlier this year on the Florida Trail, and affixed the trail patches I’ve been accumulating.

I’m readying some of my trail food, namely the Pop-Tarts and instant mashed potatoes that Hiking Dude, Eagle-Eye and a few others have gotten me addicted to.

I’ve got my maps and my plan – a (hopefully) easy 20 miles/day. We’ll be getting off the New England National Scenic Trail and staying at motels each night. Because, well, that’s how we do it. I have extra tips for my trekking poles and new running shoes to alternate with my hiking boots.

Now comes the hard part. Waiting one more month!

So far I’ve thru-hiked the Ice Age Trail twice and I’m in the middle of thru-hiking the Florida Trail. So when Ed and I finish the New England National Scenic Trail, that will become the second National Scenic Trail I’ve completed, with Florida coming in at number three when I finish it this December. While I’m waiting for this adventure to begin, I’ll just have to figure out which trail I’ll be hiking next year. Because there’s always another trail on the horizon!

Hike on!

Snowshoe

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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