Fall 2009

End-of-Semester Hikes

Blackstone River State Park (Nov. 8th)  -  Wachusett Mountain (Nov. 15th)
Douglas State Forest (Nov. 22nd)   -   Rock House Reservation (Dec. 6th)

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Blackstone River The fall foliage had long faded away, but our weekly Sunday afternoon Clark Nature Connection hikes were still going strong well into November as fourteen of us explored the Blackstone River up close and personal at the Blackstone River State Park in Uxbrige, MA. It was the same river we'd canoed along downstream in Woonsocket, RI just two weeks earlier.

Jordan and Therese check out the cliff at an outcrop just below Lookout Rock.

Jordan and Therese Cliff

From the top of Lookout Rock, we had a gorgeous view of the river valley below.

Group on lookout Rock Blackstone River valley
Group Our whole group along the Blackstone Canal.
Echo Lake A week later we set our sights on Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, the highest Massachusetts summit east of the Berkshires. We'd hiked it only once before in our club's past, so the time was right for another trip. At left is our view across Echo Lake as we began our ascent.

The trails were still really soggy from the drenching rainfall a day earlier. Descending along the Harrington Trail, Rebecca, Therese, Albee and Caroline pause on a small bridge crossing over a stream.

Harrington Trail Rebecca, Therese, Albee and Caroline
Moss-covered rock ledge The dripping wet moss-covered rocks along the Harrington Trail added to its allure.

Greg, Rebecca, Therese, Caroline and Albee pose along the Stage Coach Trail at the edge of the wind farm. Towering above us, two enormous 1.5 megawatt wind turbines had just been installed and would soon provide the town of Princeton with 40% of its electricity.
Wind turbine
Douglas State Forest For our next hike right before Thanksgiving break, we headed south to Douglas State Forest and enjoyed pristine wetland views along the Coffeehouse Loop trail.
Flooded trail The trails themselves were mostly dry, except for the flooded Southern New England Trunkline Trail (an old railroad bed) which we needed to cross twice. Caroline and Sue step gingerly from rock to rock. Successfully, all 13 of us completed the task with dry feet!
Group at Wallum Lake At the completion of our 6-mile adventure, we pause on the beach at Wallum Lake before heading home.
Rachael As December arrived, so did the snow! A surprise overnight storm had transformed Rock House Reservation in West Brookfield into a glistening winter wonderland that felt almost surreal to our trio of Sunday afternoon hikers. At right, Rachael frolics among snow-covered trees and shrubs on the Fullam Trail.
Rachael and Kirsten Rachael and Kirsten hike along the Fullam Trail.
Carter Pond Looking across the thinly frozen Carter Pond, our view of the trailside museum and snowy tree canopies was magnificent!

Opposing views of the Carter Pond boulder from the Rock House on the pond's western shore and from the Inner Loop Trail to the southeast.

Boulder Boulder
Greg, Kirsten and Rachael Greg, Kirsten and Rachael sitting on an egg-shaped boulder. Despite their best effort, the boulder did not hatch!

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