5 Trails. 1 Day. 1 Injured Backside.

My first introduction to the great New England outdoors was Mine Falls Park in Nashua, New Hampshire. The park was only a few miles from my hotel, and showed me fall as I had never seen it before.

Since Nashua was so close to the Massachusetts border, the following day, I decided to head south to see if the trails were as beautiful as I had witnessed in New Hampshire.

During my day-trip to Massachusetts I hiked 5 trails, and started the very first one with a sting in my butt. Yes, I’m serious. Here’s what happened.

Deer Jump

2 Deer Jump Reservation Poorly Maintained.jpg

Deer Jump and I got off to a bad start for several reasons, making it the worst trail I have ever hiked in my life.

To begin with, the entrances to the trail were not clearly marked and were often in unlikely places — like upper-middle class neighbourhoods. I had to pull into a man’s driveway and ask him to point out the trail, after my Uber driver and I checked two different divisions.

3 Deer Jump Reservation Sign.jpg

When my Uber driver looked where he was pointing, he laughed and asked me, “Do you have a machete?!”

The trail entrance was very poorly maintained. In fact, for the first few minutes, there was hardly a trail. Even so, I had already come this far, so I decided to head off into the woods by myself, despite my Uber driver’s obvious reluctance to let me go.

4 Deer Jump Reservation

While I stopped under a tree to take a picture of the sign pictured above, I felt a pain on my butt cheek. At first, I ignored it, but the pain intensified.

When I turned around, the black and yellow bug flew by me. I originally thought the petty little bugger was a bee, but found out later, it was a hornet.

Great. Really.

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After that, I continued into the woods with a growing sense of foreboding. Surely, something else had to go wrong. How could it not, while I walked the trails with a swelling and burning backside?

After the view at the head of the trail I started on, I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by beauty, and it was good that I set that low expectation from early on.

8 Deer Jump Reservation Bay Circuit Trail Sign.jpg

Already looking to find the closest exit from the park, I realised the park went in a full semi-circle and groaned. But I wasn’t the only one put off by the trail. The entire time I was there, I did not run into a single soul, though I passed several houses along the trails.

There was nothing really spectacular about Deer Jump Reservation, and I was really disappointed with Massachusetts after this horrible first impression.

But rather than head back to the hotel, I decided to give the state another chance. I looked up trails nearby and found Baker’s Meadow Reservation. It was only about 5 miles from Deer Jump, so I called another Uber driver to take me there.

Baker’s Meadow & Sakowich Reservations

1 Bakers Meadow Reservation Al and Evelyn Retelle Trail.jpg

It took some time to find, but Baker’s Meadow was a lovely upgrade from Deer Jump Reservation. Coursing through another upper-middle class neighbourhood, this trail was well-maintained and featured more autumn colours.

2 Bakers Meadow Reservation Autumn Leaves.jpg

I hadn’t gone very far when I stumbled upon the highlight of the trail: swampland that was home to a plethora of plants and animals.

As I skirted along the side of the swamp, I also came across some of the ducks that called the reservation, home.

The trail was short, so there wasn’t much to see after that, but it was well worth the walk.

Also, somewhere along the way, I had moved from Baker’s Meadow into Sakowich. No idea when that happened, but two birds: one stone. Right? No complaints here.

West Parish Meadow

After leaving Sakowich, I retraced my steps in hopes of going to Indian Ridge Reservation up the street. I had seen it while looking for Baker’s Meadow, and had made a mental note to check it out if I had time left.

But when I looked directly across from me, I saw a sign for West Parish Meadow Reservation.

1 West Meadow Reservation Sign.jpg

Now, how could I possibly say no to that? So, of course, I crossed the street and headed off into the woods, once more. To my surprise, the trail was somehow part of the Bay Circuit Trail I had hiked at Deer Jump Park.

2 Bay City Circuit Trail.jpg

However, this end of the trail was far more beautiful than what I had seen at the overgrown reservation.

3 West Meadow Reservation Massachussetts

I never saw another open meadow area like this again, during my hikes in New England, so I’m glad I took this detour.

4 West Meadow Reservation

After this, the meadow ended at a fork. To go left would have likely brought me further into West Parish Meadow. I knew I had limited time left in the woods, so I bore right in the direction of Indian Ridge Reservation.

Indian Ridge Reservation

1 Indian Ridge Reservation Boardwalk.jpg

The most beautiful thing I saw on that path was this boardwalk. I love structures like these on hiking trails, especially when they twist and turn through the woods.

Thereafter, the path was very much like hiking through Deer Jump: trees, rocks, dirt, fallen leaves, homes to the right, businesses to the left, but nothing truly spectacular.

The longer I hiked, the more I wondered if I had gone the right way, and if it might not have made more sense to continue into West Parish Meadow. But after about a half an hour, I made it out to the original Indian Ridge sign I had seen, while looking for Baker’s Meadow.

2 Indian Ridge Reservation Sign.jpg

With five reservation trails under my belt, it was time to head back to the hotel.

Trolled on Twitter

Once back in Nashua, I shared my Massachusetts hiking adventure for the day, including the activities of the petty “bee” who felt threatened by me standing still and taking a picture of a sign.

What did my friends do? Why, they trolled me, of course!

So even though Deer Jump was the least beautiful of all the hiking trails, it will likely be the most memorable for some time to come between my friends and I. Ironic, eh?

Even worse, this wasn’t the first time a bee or wasp or hornet felt the need to poke me somewhere unpleasant. Have you ever been injured on a hiking trail before? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Alexis Chateau Black Cat

My trip to New England was booked by 1 View Point, our in-house travel agency at Alexis Chateau PR. My wardrobe (ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE shirts and hoodies) was designed, and sponsored by 1 View Point and Alexis Chateau PR in celebration of our #November31 campaign.

We’re providing 1/2 off booking fees this November to celebrate a year of travel-testing, and our official launch. Email us for details!

27 thoughts on “5 Trails. 1 Day. 1 Injured Backside.

  1. Sorry.. as what we call a hilly here is Scotland, that is a kind of probably a semi mountaineer, I had to laugh about the entrances not being clearly marked. You have no idea of the times I have gone up the wrong hill, mountain. xxxxx

      1. You would love it. Yeah,. the wrong mountain. We have done it often. So I so love when someone goes how the way was not defined properly and the best of it is it you can still make the instructions work….. xx

      2. Haha, well it’s still a good hike though, so that not too bad. In this instance, there was just no trail inside. I was “hiking” on concrete in neighbourhoods, trying to get in 😂

        And I’m sure I would love it 😊

      3. Lol!! That’s as good as the time we went hundreds of feet down a mountain on a deer fence, we were so lost… You would love hiking here I am sure though, long as you stay away from these things xxxxx.

    1. Well…here’s the thing about maps…they are on big bits of paper. Titanic bits, you can’t open in the tearing gales but they don’t tell you that at the time…….

  2. Oh no! Good thing you aren’t allergic!
    I’ve never really been injured on a hike, other than the usual scrapes and bruises because I tend to go off the paths into the woods. But on one hike I discovered my dog could swim…that was terrifying.
    Aww I love boardwalks, too. And bridges!

    1. Oh wow, did he fall off the boardwalk? I think most dogs can swim — and cats.

      And yes, it’s a good thing I’m not allergic, being out hiking alone and all. I ran into my Uber driver later that week, and he told me I really need to get a snake-bite kit, since I hike by myself.

      1. Nah we were crossing a creek and I was leading him through the shallow part and he decided to go through a deeper part.

        Oh yeah I didn’t even think of that! I haven’t run into that many snakes. lol

  3. So glad your not severely allergic or that could have been a nightmare! Hope it feels better and props for continuing!! My daughter fell climbing a mountain in AZ once and her knee landed right on a super sharp rock. That was when she was 3 or 4 and she still loves to hike so no permanent damage. I’m envious you got to venture to such a gorgeous area. Hope to get out that way someday too!! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and videos! ~Anne

    1. I had a lot of run-ins with wasps as a kid, so I think that prepared me. The first time I got stung by a hornet on the trails though was the first time I ever hiked in the US. I couldn’t walk properly for weeks 😂

      Good on your daughter for still going! That sounds like a painful landing.

      You should definitely check out New England in the fall. I think hotel and flight cost me about $500 total, so really not that expensive.

    1. I literally had another small butt, on my butt when I got to the hotel 😂 You could see it was uneven in my hiking tights! But it wasn’t too bad after I took the antihistamines.

  4. Sorry about your injured backside. I do have to say the pictures of your hikes are really pretty – now, I’m itching to go on a hike!

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