Bash Bish Falls State Park

In the same area as Mt. Everett (the Mount Washington State Reservation), there are multiple state parks.  The day we hiked Mt. Everett, we didn’t have time to check out any of the surrounding parks, but we were pretty curious about Bash Bish Falls State Park.  According to the website, Bash Bish Falls is the largest single drop waterfall in Massachusetts (yes, I know – not saying much).  While the falls were nice, we also really loved some of the surrounding trails.

There are two parking areas – one in MA and one in NY.  These parking areas are only about a mile apart, and I highly recommend checking out both areas.  The hike down to the falls from the MA lot is very steep and strenuous, but there is also a short, steep hike UP from the parking lot to a scenic viewing area.  We liked the view so much that we went back again just after sunset to take another look.

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Same view, but sunset!

Same view, but sunset!

There was also a small trail off to the side of the parking lot that led down to the river (not sure what it is called, but it’s the one that feeds into the Falls).  No one else was down there, and we really enjoyed the quiet!  There’s nothing like the sound of rushing water for stress relief – plus, the dogs liked swimming in the calmer areas.

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After a couple hours hanging out by the river, we drove over to the NY parking area and hiked about a mile uphill to the falls.  It was a nice, relaxing hike with a wide and smooth trail.  We had to cross the state line (back into MA) to get back to the falls, and were excited to find that we were the only people there.  Apparently, the falls are very crowded in the summer, but it was quiet when we were there – likely because it was 7 p.m.!

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All-in-all, we had a great day!  The hiking wasn’t overly strenuous, which was relaxing (in a way), but we were rewarded for our efforts.  Plus, the dogs had a great time, and I had some fun playing with my camera!

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Mt. Everett

We went hiking this weekend at Mt. Everett State Reservation in southwestern MA.  It is part of a (free) state forest area, and delightfully quiet (we only saw one other couple hiking the entire time – and that was at the very beginning!).  Despite the heat (it was 90+ close to home, though the temperature dropped as we got into the mountains), we were able to get in a good workout, great views, and a little break from the craziness everyday life.  Of course, we took lots of precautions to keep our pups cool!

Duke and I at the summit!

Duke and I at the summit!

We really liked this hike.  There was a pond close to the parking area (where Jeb and the dogs took a swim), and the trail (which is part of the Appalachian Trail) was easy to follow and had lots of interesting features.  The parking area is partway up to the summit, but we took the “Guilder’s Pond Trail” the rest of the way.  The trail begins with a fire road and switches to singletrack about halfway up.  There’s an AT shelter and nice overlook (with a bench!) around the same area that the trail changes.

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With lots of stops, the entire hike to the summit (2900+ feet) only took about 45 minutes.  There is lots of vegetation at the summit, and a lovely view of NY, CT, and MA (since the mountain is situated in the SW corner of the state).  Along the trail, we saw plenty of wildlife – a turtle, frogs, mudpuppies (in the pond), and a rabbit!  There are warnings that rattlesnakes and black bears live in the area, and I am NOT disappointed that I didn’t see any of those!

All-in-all, we had a great day – there are some other natural attractions (including the largest waterfall in Massachusetts), so we are definitely planning to head back to the area and check out some other trails.

Turtle!

Turtle!

Jeb - surveying his domain

Jeb – surveying his domain

Dogs love to climb!

Dogs love to climb!

The whole singletrack section was interesting and picturesque.

The whole singletrack section was interesting and picturesque.

Duke wanted proof that he summitted Mt. Everett! :)

Duke wanted proof that he summitted Mt. Everett! 🙂

Miller State Park

Last weekend, we decided to head out for our first big hike of the season!  We went to Miller State Park in New Hampshire to hike Pack Monadnock.  We chose this hike for a couple of reasons:

  1. It is dog-friendly!  We love to hike with our dogs (shocking, I know).  The regular (and more famous) Mount Monadnock does not allow dogs.
  2. Since it is close to a really popular mountain in the area (Mount Monadnock), Miller State Park (and Pack Monadnock) do not generally have the same kinds of crowds.
  3. It is relatively close to home (about 45 minutes away), but not so close that it is a hike we tackle often.
  4. It is a long and challenging hike (there is even some scrambling involved… well, if you’re short like me!)

 

We had a great day!  The dogs had a blast, and Jeb and I had a great workout.  The trails were nice and quiet, and the views were spectacular.  There is a fire tower at the summit, and I love to climb up to the top and take photos.  The only downside, really, was the mud.  It had rained for a solid week here, and the trails were a bit muddy.  Not only did the mud attract LOTS of mayflies, but I also slipped and fell while scrambling up some rocks.  I’m fine, but I do have a nasty bruise on my thigh.  Whoops.

I missed out on a lot of hiking last summer because of my injury.  This year, I plan to try lots of new trails! 🙂  Here are some pictures from our day.

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