Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Austin Brook Trail
After sitting out the last few days of rain, we were ready to get back on the trail again. Gene selected a trail close to home, so we were able to sip our coffee this morning and not rush out the door for a long drive to the trialhead.
Austin Brook offered just about everything in the way of a hiking trail. We had a couple brooks to cross, a walk along an old logging road, a woods trail, boggy areas, beaver ponds, and a very steep climb to Gentian shelter and pond. The day was nice with just a few clouds in the sky and temperatures around the mid 70s. The trail looked like it gets a lot of use, but we saw only one other group of hikers.
With all the rain we’ve had the past couple days, conditions were right for mushrooms. Fungi ruled today. We saw every color, size, and shape.
The trail went 3.5 miles uphill to intersect with the Mahoosuc Trail, better known to us as the world famous Appalachian Trail. At the trail junction is the Gentian Shelter. That was our lunch spot for today. We rested, enjoyed the fantastic view, ate our sandwich of PB & J, and slurped down our creme brulee flavored hot chocolate.
After lunch, we went to investigate Gentian Pond. That would have also been a nice spot for lunch. It would have also been a perfect place to see a moose, but we weren’t that lucky.
The return hike, all downhill, went very quickly and we were back at the truck in a couple hours. Having not hiked in a few days, I can already tell these old bones are gonna be stiff and sore in the morning.