Sunday, September 24, 2023

John Hay National Wildlife Refuge (Newbury, New Hampshire)

On the way home from New York I stopped at the John Hay National Wildlife Refuge in Newbury, New Hampshire and hiked 1.6 miles to stretch my legs.  For more information on this small 80 acre refuge, visit   

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Adirondack Hiking and Camping (New York)

My daughter and I spent Saturday afternoon hiking in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. We chose the Fawn Lake Trail as it was a short distance from our campground. The 2.9 mile roundtrip trail travels through woods to a quiet lake. 

After hiking we returned to Moffitt Beach Campground, where we spent the night. This is a well managed campground with lakeside campsites, flush toilets and free hot showers.  

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park (Woodstock, Vermont)

I spent this weekend visiting my daughter in upstate New York and on the way stopped at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont.   The 550 acre park includes a historic mansion and 25 miles of carriage roads and hiking trails through forests, fields, pastures, manicured grounds and gardens.   

I hiked a 5.25 mile loop, starting on carriage roads to The Pogue, a manmade 15 acre pond.  I then followed another carriage road before branching off on a series of trails.  This was a beautiful hike and although the fog obscured views from high points along the trail I did see two deer on the hike.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Brown's Point Trail, Peaks Kenny State Park

I didn't know what to expect when I set out to hike this morning, given Tropical Storm Lee's visit to Maine yesterday.  I chose the Brown's Point Trail since west of Bangor faired better than the coast in the storm.

The trail turned out to be a good choice, with only two trees down across the trail (assuming they were even caused by the storm).  The trail was dry and I had it all to myself as I hiked the 3.5 miles roundtrip. 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

South Turner Mountain (Baxter State Park)

In his excellent book Hiking Maine's Baxter State Park, author Greg Westrich notes two important things about South Turner Mountain - it's strenuous and you are likely to have it to yourself.   Both turned out to be true when I hiked the mountain this morning.

I drove to Baxter last night and stayed over in a lean-to at Abol Campground.  I woke early and arrived at the Roaring Brook trailhead by 5am, being the only car in the day use lot.   I headed out on the trail with a headlamp and hiked up the mountain without encountering another person.  

The first part of the hike is flat and runs adjacent to Sandy Stream Pond.   The final mile becomes challenging as it ascends rapidly and becomes boulder-strewn.   The views from the top make the effort worthwhile, and although Katahdin was partially covered by clouds it was still a beautiful view.   

I encountered one other group of hikers on my descent but otherwise had the trail to myself.   I stopped at several of the view points for Sandy Stream Pond on my way back since I had passed them in the dark when I started, and added the 0.8 mile Roaring Brook Nature Trail to my hike at the end in hopes of seeing a moose.  The day use lot was full when I returned to my car, likely with people hiking Katahdin.  

This was an excellent hike.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Mt. Roberts Trail (Moultonborough, NH)

It was perfect weather when friends and I set out to hike Mount Roberts, located in the 5,381 acre Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area.  We hiked to the first viewpoint on the trail and back for a total of 2.5 miles.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Fields Pond (Holden)

I did a quick 2.3 mile hike after work today at Fields Pond Nature Center.   

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Goose Falls Trail, Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park (Harborside)

We hiked the Goose Falls Trail at the Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park this morning.   The one mile relatively flat waterfront trail provides views of Penobscot Bay and Holbrook Island as it winds through a coastal forest.   

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Olympic National Park (Washington State)

On Sunday and Monday my son and I went to Olympic National Park with my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, nephew's son and daughter-in-law.   

We started Sunday in the coastal section of the park, beginning with a hike to Second Beach.  The one way distance from the parking lot to the beach is 0.8 miles, but we hiked a total of 2.6 miles after adding in the distance we hiked on the beach and the walk from the overflow parking lot.  This was an easy hike through a beautiful old growth forest to a scenic beach.

We next explored Rialto Beach, hiking only one mile due to the high tide.   The beach is filled with large driftwood and pieces of kelp.  We enjoyed watching pelicans flying low over the crashing waves.

Our last hike Sunday was the 2 mile round trip Sol Duc Falls Trail.  This beautiful trail leads through a forest of tall conifers to the falls.  
We spent Sunday night in a cabin at the Port Angeles KOA campground.
We hiked Hurricane Ridge Trail Monday morning, a paved path leading to the top of Hurricane Hill.  From the overflow parking it was approximately 4 miles roundtrip with around 800 feet of elevation gain.
After lunch we did our final hike of the trip, combining the Marymere Falls Trail and the Moments in Time Nature Trail for a 2.7 mile hike.  

Friday, August 18, 2023

Fort Ward Park and Bloedel Reserve (Bainbridge island, Washington)

We spent the day with my brother and sister-in-law exploring Bainbridge Island.  We started with a two mile hike at Fort Ward Park, a 137 acre local park on a former military base.  The park features dense forests, waterfront trails and historic buildings and structures.

After lunch we walked 2.3 miles at the Bloedel Reserve, a 140 acre former estate with trails, gardens and a mansion.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Mount Rainier National Park (Washington State)

My son and I are visiting my brother in the Seattle area and spent the first two days of our trip exploring Mount Rainier National Park.

We arrived at Mount Rainier NP in the afternoon of our first day and explored the visitor center, ate dinner at the picnic area, and did a short 0.5 mile walk on the Sunrise Trail.  Driving out of the park we watched as an elk crosses the road in front of us.

We camped at the nearby USFS Silver Spring Campground a mile from the northeast entrance to the park.  The campground is situated in a beautiful old growth forest adjacent to the White River.  

We woke early on our second day and did an 11 mile hike combining the Fremont Mountain Trail with the trail to the Berkeley Park Campsites for a total elevation gain of 2254 feet.  This was an amazing hike and combined expansive views from the Fremont Trail with a wilderness experience on the trail to Berkeley Park.  While we saw other people, the trail did not feel crowded until the end of our hike close to noon.