Posted on August 25, 2020
By Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
USA Today has named two trails in New England as among the top ten “amazingly scenic” in the country. It turns out I have short-hiked one – a portion of the Appalachian Trail that goes through October Mountain State Forest in Lee, Massachusetts and have visited Acadia National P:ark in Maine, home to the second, the Parkman Trail.
Admittedly, notions come over me from time to time and two years ago I decided I wanted to do something out of the ordinary specifically on October 1. Perusing online maps I discovered a place called
October Mountain in Lee, Massachusetts.”Perfect” I thought, “October Mountain on October 1st “. And, easy driving distance from the Greater Hartford, CT area where I reside.
This mountain is foreboding. Upon arrival. one is greeted by heavy, dark forest and soon enough signs that alert visitors to black bears that roam the space – hunting is allowed year round. YIKES ! I am what I describe as a walker/hiker – recreational at the most – but I do enjoy fancying myself as more than just walking ever since I traversed some easy, low trails at the base of the White Mountains many moons ago. As well, as a teenager I visited Acadia National P:ark with my family.
Admittedly again, upon arrival at October Mountain I felt a pang of the “flight or fight syndrome” but worked through it to stay, get out of the RAV4 and make our way along a couple trails. The park was hosting a motocross competition that day and there were some other hikers about, including a family. The park ranger was in his hut and overall it was probably a relatively safe day to be on October Mountain – a name I adore.
Scenic, definitely. I am a lover of white birch trees and have a couple photo ops that were snapped of me peaking through white birch branches.
From the get-go, I was glad that we stayed. So neat to think I have actually hiked the Appalachaian – even if it was just a short trail or two. How great to have been on foot at October Mountain and Acadia National Park and to have each be part of a special recognition of America’s grand natural resources. To think I have been to both – right here in my beloved New England !