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Tag Archives: Hiking

Great Outdoor Fun with Maine Huts and Trails

Looking to bring this summer home with some great outdoor activities. Well Maine Huts and Trails has some great ideas for those who live to be outdoors:

  • Bike with a Guide: How about biking with an experienced mountain biking guide? Get to know the trails of the Carrabassett Valley with an experienced mountain biker. The bike with a guide tour is free to guests staying at Poplar or Stratton Brook Hut and is offered every Thursday in August.
  • Guided Dead River Paddle Trip: Head out with a Main Registered Guide for a 2-night, 3-day trip paddling down the Dead River to Grand Falls Hut. This Guided Dead River Paddle Trip is offered on August 17-19 and September 28-30, 2014.
  • Guided Flagstaff Paddle Trip: Another adventurous paddle with a Main Registered Guide – in the Guided Flagstaff Paddle Trip you get to paddle on Flagstaff Lake, spend two nights at Flagstaff Hut, and one overnight camping on the lake. Dates for this trip are August 12-15 or September 22-25, 2014
  • Hike & Paddle at Stratton Brook Hut: Starting at Stratton Brook Hut you hike to Stratton Brook Pond with a guide and then go for a relaxing paddle. This day trip is available Sunday through Thursday in August and into the Fall. You may want to think about it when foliage season comes around…

There is still plenty of wonderful summer and fall weather left so get out into the great outdoors with Maine Huts and Trails!

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Looking for a Good Hike (and More) in Portland, Maine?

Well look no further than Portland Trails. Portland Trails is a non-profit urban land trust that has created and maintains a 70-mile network of trails in the greater Portland area.

You can certainly enjoy a great hike on any of these trails (or a good run on one of their six mapped out running routes), but they also offer so much more. Many of the trails are wheel chair accessible and stroller friendly. Other activities that you can find on or along many of the trails include:

  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Fishing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Picnicking
  • Swimming

And don’t forget to bring man’s best friend. Dogs are allowed on half of the trails.

When winter descends its icy grip on the region there is no reason to stay inside as many of the trails allow cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The Portland Trails are a multi-use, multi-season paradise for people who enjoy the great outdoors.

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The Northern Rail Trail Grows in New Hampshire

Picture of a Section of the Northern Rail Trail in New Hampshire

New Section of the Northern Rail Trail by Charles Martin

A new 3.9 mile stretch connecting the old Gerrish Railroad Depot near the N.H. State Forest Nursery on Route 3 to Depot Street in the center of Boscawen has been added to the Northern Rail Trail. With this addition the trail is now 56 miles long with 33 miles in Merrimack County and 23 miles in Grafton County connecting downtown Lebanon to Boscawen. The Northern Rail Trail is a multi-use recreational trail that permits:

  • Biking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Dog sledding
  • Hiking/running
  • Horseback riding
  • Snowmobiling

The Northern Rail Trail is the longest rail trail in New Hampshire and was recognized as one of the top 100 rail trails in the United States by the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy

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Meet the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System

Picture of a Connecticut Blue Blaze Trail SignBegun in 1929, the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System is a statewide trail system that today extends to over 825 miles of trails in 88 Connecticut communities. The trail system was established by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association and is maintained by volunteers who annually contribute about 15,000 hours of their time to maintain the trails. The trails are administered by a full-time Trail Stewardship Director and 100 volunteer Trail Managers.

Most of the trails are on private land. The trail system is not one contiguous trail system, but rather a series of trails throughout Connecticut.

One of the trails, the MMM Trail (Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett), officially became a National Scenic Trail in 2009 and is now known as the “New England Trail“. The trail extends for 215 miles through 39 cities and towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Metacomet and Mattabesett Trails have been maintained as Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails while volunteers of the Appalachian Mountain Club (Berkshire Chapter) have maintained the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. Both organizations continue their stewardship of the trail.

To learn more about the location of Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System trails see the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System Map. You may also want to check out their Tails from the Trails YouTube channel.

With warm spring weather in abundance, now is a great time to get out exploring this wonderful public hiking resource.

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New England National Recreation Trails

The National Recreation Trails Program came about as part of the National Trail System Act of 1968 which created a national trail system consisting of:

  • National Historic Trails designated by Congress
  • National Scenic Trails designated by Congress
  • National Recreation Trails designated by the Secretary of Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture

To date there are over 1,000 National Recreation Trails in all 50 states. New England has its fair share of these trails including:

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Take a Hike on the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System

Picture of the New England Trail LogoThere is still time to get in some hiking before the snow starts to fly (which, hopefully, will not be for another couple of months…). You may want to hike some of the over 825 miles of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association’s (CFPA) Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System which includes the 200 mile long Metacomet and Mattabesett Trails, now known as the New England Trail – a National Scenic Trail designated in 2009.

The Connecticut Forest & Park Association was founded in 1895 and established the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System in 1929. The trails traverse both public and private land.

You may also want to look at Connecticut’s Top 10 Hiking Trails

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Some Long Distance Hikes in New England

Hiking fans can find a lot of wonderful hiking in the six New England states. There are some wonderful long-distance hiking trails, including the oldest in the United States, in the region. Following are trails of about 50 miles or more in distance.

  • Appalachian Trail (CT, MA, VT, NH, ME) – The Appalachian Trail traverses 733.9 miles through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine (yes it starts much further south, this is just the New England portion).
  • Cohos Trail (NH) – The Cohos Trail runs 162 miles through northern New Hampshire from Crawford Notch to the Canadian border in Pittsburg, NH.
  • Long Trail (VT) – The Long Trail runs the entire north to south distance of Vermont from the Canadian border to the border with Massachusetts covering 272 miles. The Long Trail is the oldest marked long distance trail in the United States.
  • Metacomet-Monadnock Trail (MA, NH) – The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail is 114 miles long from the Metacomet Trail on the Connecticut state line to Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire. It is only 70 miles from Boston. Now largely combined with the New England Trail.
  • Midstate Trail – The Midstate Trail runs 92 miles in Massachusetts through Worcester County from the Rhode Island border to the New Hampshire border. This trail is only 45 miles from Boston.
  • Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway (NH) – The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway spans 48 miles in southern New Hampshire from Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey to Mount Sunapee in Newbury.
  • New England Trail (CT, MA) – The New England Trail extends 215 miles through 39 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
  • Robert Frost Trail (MA) – The Robert Frost Trail (PDF) travels 47 miles in the eastern Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts.

So what are you waiting for? Get your hiking boots and hit the trails…

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Winter Hikes in the White Mountains

The Boston Globe yesterday published a nice article that should be of interest to any winter hiker. The article provides details on ten different hikes in the White Mountains including: Mount Avalon, South Moat Mountain, Mount Crawford, Mount Liberty, Mount Whiteface, Carter Dome, Mount Hancock, Mount Carrigain, Mount Madison, and Mount Washington.

These winter hikes are not for the uninitiated and can be quite challenging. But if snowshoeing through the White Mountains is your idea of a fun time the Globe has done an excellent job laying out some nice, challenging, hikes.

For more information see: “Cold adventures“, Globe Correspondent, Boston Globe, December 26, 2010.

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