Friday, December 31, 2010

Savoy Mountain State Forest Snowshoeing

What an unbelievable day! The weather today was low 40's, sunny and clear- just a beautiful day all around. The North Adams, MA area got about 22" of snow earlier this week, and with all the snow and the great weather, we decided to take advantage and hit Savoy Mountain State Forest for some snowshoeing.

This was my first of what I hope to be many snowshoeing trips.  While I assumed snowshoeing would be far more strenuous then hiking, I've gotta say it was even more strenuous than I had thought. We started at the parking area that leads to Old Florida Rd. and the Busby Trail. We took the Busby Trail up to the loop trail called Spruce Hill. The Spruce Hill loop takes you to the top of Spruce Hill which is 2566'. The hike up was good with some snow drifts approaching 3 feet. Once we reached the top, we cooked up a few cans of soup, made some hot chocolate, and snapped a few pictures.

Going down was a bit more difficult as all the rocks and ledges leading down the mountain were covered in snow. We took a few harmless tumbles into some fresh powder, but we weren't any worse for the wear. Once we got onto the trail we had taken up, it was smooth sailing back to the truck. We traveled 3 miles in about 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Here is a little history on the park from the MA State Parks website and here is a link to the Savoy Mountain State Forest page.

"Savoy Mountain State Forest is located atop the Hoosac Mountain Range in northwestern Massachusetts. The Hoosac Range is an extension of the Green Mountains of Vermont, and is the first mountain barrier encountered rising west of the Connecticut River Valley. "Hoosac" is an Algonquin word meaning, place of stones. Settlement of these remote towns of Florida and Savoy by farmers began in the early 19th century. The construction of the Hoosac Tunnel (1851-75) for railroad transportation created a momentary population boom. After its completion the tunnel workers left. Many moved down in the valley to Adams or North Adams to work in the woolen mills, or headed west to join in the great land rush for better farmland. Savoy Mountain State Forest was created in 1918 with the purchase of 1,000 acres of this abandoned farmland. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reforested much of this area with Norway and Blue Spruce, and built new concrete dams at Bog, Burnett and Tannery Pond to replace older dams. Today, apple trees interspersed throughout the campground and stonewalls are some reminders of the once vibrant farming history."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Website Move and Remodel Complete

So, as you may have noticed, I moved the site to a new host and changed it a bit.  If you get this through an RSS feed, make sure your cache is cleared if you find you can't view the new site.  I didn't post the fish pictures from early on in the blog because I haven't decided how I'm going to present those yet.  Odds are they will be thumbnails and I'll have just a large "fishing 2011" gallery and update the gallery as I catch fish.

One feature I had to get rid of was the comment sections. Unfortunately I had a lot of SPAM comments on the old site so, for now, I've simply gotten rid of the comments.  But if there is something you want to add or want me to add, just email me and I'd be happy to add to the post(s).  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mt. Toby Hiking

I was doing some research on waterfalls in MA when I stumbled upon Mt. Toby.  It’s not listed on the MA State Parks site, so my source info was limited to Wikipedia and my topo maps.  My AccuTerra iPhone app only had 2 trails listed for this mountain, but I knew there were many more.  I discovered online that there were five waterfalls throughout the mountain.  The only one I got around to seeing was the Roaring Falls.  I didn’t hike down to the base of it but I was able to stand above it and check it out from that angle.  It was partly frozen and not as picturesque as the Bash Bish Falls but still a great sight.

After the falls, we hiked up to the top where there is a fire tower and a couple picnic tables.  We took the Tower Rd. trail which had many portions that were iced over.  The road was a 6 mile trip to the top and back.  It’s pretty much a logging road to the top.  Next time, I’ll most certainly be sure to take more trails and find the other 4 waterfalls.

Here is a link to the wikipedia site for info. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Toby#Waterfalls

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blog Moving & Changing

I’m going to change the format and move the blog to another host in the next week. So if it’s down, that’s why. Stand by.

Mount Holyoke Range Park Hiking

Last night there was a “winter weather advisory” on the news, so I knew we were going to be in for an interesting hike today. But when I woke up this morning there was hardly any “winter” to speak of, as is often the case in New England.  We headed out with waterproof everything because we knew we’d be getting rained on the whole time.  It was rather warm at 38 degrees with a constant drizzle all the way up the mountain.   We reached the summit and started to head back down and this is when the fog and full blown rain began.  It was still an enjoyable hike though.  We took the Metacomet-Monadnock trail to the Horse Caves Trail then took the Robert Frost Trail back to the parking lot.  The loop was 3.5 miles.

Click http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/hksp.htm for more info on the park.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mt. Tom Hiking

Mt. Tom is located in Holyoke, MA with 2,082 acre’s of land and hiking trails.  There is also a small lake that can be used for fishing, canoeing, and ice skating.  The highest point of Mt. Tom is just a little over 1200′. Unfortunately, the highest part of Mt. Tom has multiple cell phone towers located on it.  It’s a 4 mile hike on the Metacomet-Monadnock trail to get to the top and back.  The only good part of the multiple towers is that I had full service on my iPhone!! Amazing! Can’t remember the last time I had that.  Anyway, although it’s a small and relatively short hike to the top, it was still a lot of fun and still had some good views of the CT Valley and the Berkshire’s.  These are also my first batch of pictures with my new TS2 Camera.

For info on Mt Tom click http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/mtom.htm