Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hiking In Wyman Hill and Great Hill Conservation Areas

I went for my first hike of 2016 in Wyman Hill and Great Hill Conservation Areas in the small town of Manchester-by-the-Sea I recently learned of these properties while doing some research on the Manchester-Essex Conservation Area. Unfortunately, I could not find any online information about Wyman Hill or Great Hill so I started the hike without a trail map or any idea of what I might find there. What I did expect was snow and ice covered trails given the recent winter storm that passed through here earlier in the week. And there was enough of both to make the trail treacherous at times.

A perfect day to explore new trails, or so I thought.

What I didn't expect was the amount of water I encountered. Withing 100 yards of the Crooked Lane trail head I was faced with 20-30 feet of submerged trail. I was able to stay dry by finding a way around it but I was constantly running into areas where the trail was underwater and looking for a detour on higher ground. After the fifth or sixth time bushwhacking around deep water I had enough of that @#%$ and decided to quit and go back to my car. 

This wasn't the worst of it.

The only problem was I didn't have a trail map and most of the trails were unmarked. I really had no idea where I was and I wasn't about to backtrack and work my way around all the water obstacles for a second time. I decided to press on and eventually I did find my way back to my car (thanks to my iPhone). I cant complain about it though.  A bad day on the trail is still better than a good day at work.

Don't let my pretty face fool you. This hike was ugly!

Happy 2016!

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