Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Sunday Hike -- The Old Mill to Mt. Wachusett

Another nice day Sunday, and a difficult hike. Or rather a more difficult hike than we expected because there was a typo in our trail guide. We are using the Massachusetts Midstate Trail Guide Book to help us navigate the trail. It has been particularly useful in assisting us as we decide where to start and finish each day. We're trying to go 6-7 miles per leg, and use the guidebook to find parking areas, etc.

Since neither Michelle or I wear a watch when we hike, and don't really have a good handle on how fast or slow we are hiking, we also rely on the guide to help us understand where certain landmarks are on the trail in relation to where we are going, how far we have traveled, how far we have to go, etc.

The guide missed a mile in Westminster. It suggests the distance between Crow Hill and Redemption Rock is 0.4 miles, when it is actually 1.4 miles. So we ended up hiking 7.5 miles instead of the 6.5 we were expecting, which wouldn't have been too tough a task except that 1) it was our second day in a row, 2) the terrain was more difficult, including a hike up and down Crow Hill, which is at a higher elevation than any point since Mt. Wataic, 3) It was the warmest day of the spring so far (about 76 degrees).

Other than that, I actually enjoyed the hike (Michelle was less enthralled with it). It had some nice, changeable terrain, ran along a brook for a ways, and was mostly secluded, with only a couple of short portions on town roads. We finally encountered some hikers on and around Crow Hill, and in the Redemption Rock area. We also had a nice view from the top of Crow Hill of Mt. Wachusett and the Leominster State Forest, including Crocker Pond (shown below).

Total hike: 7.6 miles.
Total Midstate Trail to date: 25.9 miles.
Total summer to date: 32.9 miles.
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