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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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Our Managing Director @alexischateau_ is enjoying her fall trip to New England. Isn't it beautiful?? 😮 Why not go see for yourself? 🤔 We're the only PR firm we know with a built-in travel agency — and you don't have to be a client to use the service. Book with us today. 😊 .. .. .. .. #November31 #travel #travelvideo #travelshoot #landscape #nature #naturevideo #panoramicvideo #autumn #fall #newengland #wanderlust #woods
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.
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.
However, this end of the trail was far more beautiful than what I had seen at the overgrown reservation.
I never saw another open meadow area like this again, during my hikes in New England, so I’m glad I took this detour.
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
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.
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!
Hiked FIVE reservations in Massachusetts today. The truly impressive part? 2 seconds into the first trail, a bee stung me on the butt 😯😕😔 pic.twitter.com/HfgSzp9LAU— Alexis Chateau 🇯🇲 (@alexischateau_) October 18, 2017
Bee was like pic.twitter.com/gqTljSI0nt— Liminality Defined (@TricksterX1) October 18, 2017
All these bee jokes really… sting. 😬🐝😆😂— Jesse S. Smith (@JesseSmithBooks) October 19, 2017
…I guess you could say he needs to get some…bee-haviour?— Lame Impala (@SimplyDatHombre) October 19, 2017
I'm sorry, I should bee more considerate, my apologies, let's bygones bee bygones *hugs*— Lame Impala (@SimplyDatHombre) October 19, 2017
We just want to bee your friends.— Jesse S. Smith (@JesseSmithBooks) October 19, 2017
There's such a buzz around you, so we all want to bee like you…— Autumn Murphy (@HeartOfAutumn) October 19, 2017
You'll have to (honey)comb through your finances.— Autumn Murphy (@HeartOfAutumn) October 19, 2017
(oh dear gods, someone stop me…lol)
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!
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!