Alex and I last did this mountain a few years ago when he was 4. This was before they built the new wheelchair accessible trails, parking lot, and pavilion on the knoll. As well as before the massive clearcutting which they say they did so blueberry bushes could grow. They also tore down the lean-tos which were part way up.
|Alex wearing my socks - couldn't find his - quite the fashion statement|
The new Gregg Trail replaces the 1st half of the original Shannon trail and is quite a bit longer as it has many switchbacks to keep the grade to a minimum. It is also wide, flat, and made of gravel. The trail 1st opens out into a meadow. Last time we were here this meadow was absolutley full of wildflowers of every color imaginable. Probably the highest density of flowers over such a large area that I have seen and the aroma was just full in the air. Now, the entire meadow is mowed :( The trail winds its way through the meadow instead of going straight up.
|Mowed meadow along Gregg trail|
|Alex approaching end of Gregg Trail|
|Crotched Mountain from knoll|
|Partial view from the pavilion|
|Just some of the blueberries Alex picked - these ones were big|
After entering the woods the trail meets up with the Bennington trail, turns right and ascends up the mountain. Just before this there are several glacial eratics that are scattered around the woods.
|One of the smaller boulders, but it was just perched here - should have had Alex stand next to it for perspective, its probably 10 feet tall.|
I had my GPS with me and had downloaded several geocaches which were along the trail. Each kid took a turn navigating to the caches as we found 2 of the 3 we were looking for. The one we didn't find was where the lean-tos used to be and apparently that cache has since been moved - I didn't read the logs enough before we started looking for it.
The forecast called for rain but it held off and we were able to check out the new trails and just about complete a short walk through the woods up a local mountain. Not a bad day at all!