A guide to Harold Parker State Forest.
April 3, 2011 § 6 Comments
Well, internet… It was a very calm day, yesterday. I spent the morning knocking out some Algebra homework; a couple cups of coffee eased the pain of morning spent doing math. However, doing homework in the morning gets me using my brain – which in turn has me stoked to get out and about afterwards. Moral: Be productive, it feels good.
The newly dubbed Weekend Hiking Crew (my friends Chris and Rachel, and myself) saw a new face, yesterday! Well, we didn’t actually dub ourselves that… Actually, I just made that up on the spot, but I’d like to see this weekend “group” grow throughout the summer as I attempt to get my friends involved. Everything is better in numbers… Except drinking milk, or something of that nature… That’s better done solo. I’m a big fan of digressing, aren’t I?
So, we get together and shoot some hoops (photo) for a bit before taking a drive to Harold Parker State Forest (Andover, MA). Growing up, I had gone to a summer camp in this forest, and still made frequent trips every so often to go for a walk. It had been awhile, so I suggested that we go scope it out and of course the whole group agreed (what else were we gonna do?). We pulled into a lot, and set out on what we found to be called the Healthy Trail (photo), which didn’t take us very far (so we set off making our own trail). I guess “healthy” means an entirely different thing in hiking terms. /shrug
Now, there’s a lot to like and dislike about hiking at this forest. For instance, I liked how the trails were more “rocky” and had a lot to offer aesthetically. There’s a lake that most of the trails, in some way, wrap around (a reason I will most definitely come back in the summer). However, every path you take will somehow spit you out onto a paved road. Though, if you walk along this paved road you’ll find more trails to the right and left. I don’t know, though. For some reason, I don’t like seeing a giant paved road as the “master trail”. Turned me off, a bit. Of course, it’s all in where you want to be when you’re hiking. Had I brought a bicycle with me, this may have been a different story.
Trekking deeper we found a lot of makeshift bridges crossing the lakeside’s swampy terrain. Some of them were heavy logs dropped into place, and some were just large rocks (photo). As I’ll say in every post, today and henceforth in some manner, you gotta love the little things! Coming across a bridge like that, knowing another group of trekkers stood in the same spot you are, and thought “Shit! We gotta get ourselves out of this.” and building an awesome little bridge. It’s really cool, I must say. Maybe I think too much, actually. Haha.
All in all, I would not be unsupportive of those wanting to adventure/hike/camp in Harold Parker State Forest. It’s definitely a great visit, though I’d strongly suggest going during the Summer over Spring. Why? Well, it’s definitely more active in the summer with people fishing and setting up tents to stay for the weekend. So, most likely, you’ll pass some strangers on the way (which usually consists of staying to the right, a mutual nod of the head, and wimpering out a “hello“). If you’re looking to get out, and take an undisturbed walk through the woods, then I would suggest going in the Spring or even possibly Fall. A great trip, nevertheless.
Click here to see all of the photos.
Until next time, internet.