Hiking in New England: 2017 Recap, Part 2

Happy New Year, friends! Somehow this week has gotten away from me. Between the festivities of New Year’s Eve and the chaos of our recent snow deluge (#bombcyclone, anyone?), I’m glad to finally have a chance to sit down and share part 2 of my 2017 hiking adventures. If you missed part 1, check it out here!

As a sidebar– have you noticed that New England winters bring out the best and worst in people, often at the same time? I’m a recent transplant to my neighborhood, and folks were pretty friendly with offering to help each other dig their vehicles out of the massive drifts created by the Winter Hurricane of Terror. (See below) Somehow, though, everyone becomes an infinitely worse driver, even if they’ve lived here all their lives, and patience goes right out the door.  Be kind, Boston! Slow your roll.

The drifts were snow joke.

Anyways, I digress.  Where was I? HIKING. YES. MUCH NICER THAN ROAD RAGE.

Here are a few of my favorite New England outdoor spaces from this past year. Bonus: all are newbie friendly!

Devil’s Hopyard- East Haddam, CT

I traipsed through this park while I was home for the holidays– it’s right near where I grew up! Devil’s Hopyard has an amazing waterfall and moderate, meandering trails.  They were a bit washed out when I visited, but in the summer I’m sure they’re spectacular. I also stumbled upon a group of friendly folks walking an absolutely absurd amount of dogs; I hope your visit is as lucky as mine! The park features camp sites, but they were closed for the 2017 season.  Here’s hoping they’re available next year!

I’m going to ignore TLC on this and chase a few waterfalls.
It’s so fuzzy!

World’s End Reservation- Hingham, MA

Are you a fan of sweeping panoramic views, rocky beaches, and stately trees nestled among gentle rolling hills? Weird, me too.  You should visit World’s End for all of the above and more.  It’s not exactly what I’d call a “hike” per se, but a beautiful escape from city life and a lovely breath of fresh air.

If this is the end of the world, I’m okay with it.

Mount Monadnock- Jaffrey, NH

One of the most-climbed mountains in the world(!), Monadnock’s 3,165′ prove challenging but the incredible views from the rocky peak make the payoff worth the work.  This was the most difficult hike I attempted this past year, but I’d certainly go back for a second round. Season camping is available, but unfortunately no pets are allowed in Monadnock State Park.

Ben’s spirit animal may be a mountain goat. Still to be confirmed.

Savoy Mountain State Forest- Florida, MA

Savoy will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first (and to date, only) solo camping trip I’ve taken! Located in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, Savoy invites you to unplug and unwind. The campground, built on a former orchard, is spacious, and the hiking trails are challenging yet manageable.  As a note, this area is best accessed by a vehicle with four-wheel drive and high-clearance; my poor station wagon struggled a bit on several of the adjacent roads.

I wish you could hear what this sounds like!
I got pretty skilled with a selfie stick on this trip.

I’m so antsy for this intense cold snap to end! I’m all for winter adventuring, but when the high for the day is 2 degrees, it’s better to be safe than frostbitten.  I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop for my next jaunt into the frozen tundra!

Until next time,