September 21, 2019 Hike the Newman Marsh Trail in Chester On a sunny early fall day we took on Observation Hill and hiked the Memorial Trail in the Chester Blandford State Forest, with an elevation gain of 700 feet to the summit we all made it up and enjoyed the amazing vistas overlooking the Westfield River Valley both to the West and East. One of our hikers educated us on the birds we saw at the summit including Hawks and Turkey Vultures “V” is for vulture, an easy way to differentiate between the two. I also leaned about winterberries an edible treat in the woods and we looked for bear claws in the birch trees since this area is heavily traveled by bear. Steve Hamlin of Huntington, one of the creators of this trail with H. Newman Marsh himself, who this trail is named for, gave a great intro about the trail and how it served a purpose in the creation of the Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway (aka Route 20) and the local Hilltown History. The three way junction of the Memorial trail with the Observation Hill and Mica Mine Trail is found along this loop and takes hikers to the middle of the State Forest, trails not often traveled. The Observation Hill trail is gravel and connects in Blandford to Beulah Land Road Trail, Dynamite Box and the CCC trail. The Chester Blandford State Forest is a top DCR location with hiking trails filled with vistas and waterfalls. Our previous group hikes here have included Sanderson Brook Falls, Dynamite Box and Griffin Brook Road Trails. Looking forward to the next great one here!
Glorious fall peak color along the two loop trails at the Retreat at Norwich Lake October 19th ðŸ#westernmasshilltownhikers got the inside scoop on Huntington’s newest retreat at beautiful Norwich Lake, hiking through old “Norwich” to an old dam by stone walls. We were treated to an apres hike lunch of hot soup, man n cheese and warm cookies by the infamous Chef John Slattery of Mass Appeal and of course all while fundraising for #SHAEC. ðŸA BIG thank you to all for a heart warming day in the HilltownsðŸ #hikethehilltowns â™¥ï¸
ðŸ•ðŸðŸ‚November 16, 2019 Knittel Conservation Area we had a great hike today on this sunny Saturday in Blandford! Thank you all for taking part in another #westernmasshilltownhikers event, so glad to see so many hikers from all over: Palmer, Ludlow, Chicopee, Westhampton. Southwick and CT, Appalachian Mountain Club, to name a few #hikethehilltowns. Special thanks goes to the Blandford Conservation Commission for this trail!ðŸ‚ðŸðŸ•