Posts Tagged ‘Nature Trail Walks’

Hiking in the Hinesburg Town Forest

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Last week Sharon & her fellow hikers had a fun adventure, covering 6 miles, in the Hinesburg Town Forest.  Let’s see what she has to say about one of the best trail systems in Vermont.

We started out on a wide trail, climbing steadily for about 3/4 of a mile.  Then we veered onto a narrow woods path that led us to the top of an unnamed hill of about 1,500 feet elevation.  We could see hints of views of the local hills in between the trees and surmised that this would be a great snowshoe hike when the absence of leaves would better reveal the vistas.  The footpath continued along the ridge for quite a while before gently winding its way downhill.

 

Ferns on the Ridge of Passing the Horizon

Ferns on the Ridge of Passing the Horizon

There were a ton of switchbacks on the trail and it was amusing to see the paths almost touching one another in places as the route curved back on itself again and again.  The woods were pretty open with an understory of ferns.  Most of the way, we had the trails all to ourselves and deep into the hike a bicyclist came upon us (most of the trails were made by a bike club).

Jewelweed Spotted Touch Me Not Flower

Jewelweed Spotted Touch Me Not Flower

The final leg was done mostly in the dark and we opted to rely on our night vision rather than use a flashlight.  A barred owl serenaded us while we rambled along.  Eventually another biclyclist came up behind us, this one with a headlight on his mountain bike.  He made sure we were okay and assured us we were almost back to the parking lot.  And, about a dozen switchbacks later, at 8:45pm, we reached our vehicles.  Hooray to my hardy trailmates for easily tackling the “mountain” as well as taking the nighttime hiking in stride.

On Colchester Pond

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Another week, another trail walk. This week my fellow co-workers tackled trekking around Colchester Pond. Being the only Floridian of the bunch, I had to laugh at all the humidity talk that ensued in Sharon’s description. But then again, they laugh at me during my visits when its 60 degrees outside and I have my winter coat on. Here’s what Sharon writes…

Pretty Colchester Pond was last week’s destination. Four dedicated (foolhardy?)walkers braved the heat, humidity, and air-quality warnings to take a stroll around the pond. Pulling into the parking lot gave us a great bird’s-eye view of the large pond, and I thought, “Wow, we’re going to walk around that? That looks longer than the advertised 2.5-3.0 miles!”

Colchester Pond with view of golden grass

Colchester Pond with view of golden grass

Several large birds quickly caught our attention and we decided to travel counterclockwise in order to get closer to the shoreline where the birds were hanging out. We saw a heron, a cormorant, and an osprey. The osprey made a spectacular dive into the water in search of fish (or maybe he was just hot). We walked on double-planked boardwalks close to the shoreline and then rambled through fields on mowed paths at the south end of the pond. Then we entered onto a wide woods path that we followed for the remainder of the route. We tackled several hills and saw a few toads.

Reflections: The pond & the bridge

Reflections: The pond & the bridge

 

A short spur path led to an outlook at the northern end of the pond. There were wooden slats nailed to a slanting tree trunk and a rope for swinging out into the water. Back on the main trail, we hit a couple more outlooks to the water and saw a couple canoeists.

Purple Flowering Raspberry

Purple Flowering Raspberry

 

We walked past a large field and then were soon heading up a final hill back to the parking lot, feeling either lighter (from the exercise) or heavier (from the sweat and humidity) from our efforts. Based on it taking 2 hours to circumnavigate the pond, as well as info from my mapping software, I’d say we hiked nearly 4 miles.

Red Berries

Red Berries