Fall "Five Hikes" Series Wraps Up
This Autumn, the Forest Society was pleased to offer a series of guided hikes on our Forest Reservations. The Fall series of "5 Easy Hikes in 5 Weeks" was modeled after our similar "5 Hikes" programs in Winter/Spring and Summer 2017, with the goal of introducing hikers of all abilities to Forest Society properties with reasonably challenging (but not overwhelming) trail systems that possess excellent views or interesting destinations. Beginning in late September and wrapping up at the end of October, we followed the foliage transformation from the North Country to the southernmost parts of the state.
The hike series began on September 24th at the Forest Society’s Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, with a walking tour of the working Christmas Tree farm and historic estate led by Nigel Manley, director of The Rocks. Following that was an October 5th evening hike on the Hay Reservation in Newbury, to watch the sun set over Lake Sunapee from the top of aptly-named Sunset Hill. On October 14th, a group climbed Pine Mountain on the Morse Preserve in Alton to enjoy
The last hike of the series, a haunted history tour of the Madame Sherri Forest in Chesterfield, did not run due to the late October storm that caused tree damage and power outages across the state. Despite that disappointment, the hike series was very well attended. More than 150 hikers participated in the first four hikes, which all happened to be on beautiful weather days. “Fall is a beautiful time to hike,” notes Jenn Seredejko, the Forest Society’s Land Steward Coordinator. “People were excited to be outside on crisp, clear days with no bugs, walking through forests with their autumn colors.”
In a follow up survey, 77% of respondents said they’d definitely return to one of the “5 Hikes’ locations on their own sometime, and many praised the beautiful views and choice of hikes that were not too difficult to accomplish. “Keeping active is hugely important to me,” said one hiker, “so having these opportunities has been wonderful.” If you missed this fall’s 5 Hikes series, don’t worry, since you can still get out and enjoy trails on the Forest Society’s properties any time. Check out our Forest Reservations Guide here to get maps, directions and details about hiking opportunities across the state.