Trail Hut at Muddy Pond, from left: Lisa L, Perry G, Christie B, Meredith P, Janice G,
Rexy, Hedy P, Dori C (Heimo S behind the camera)
Eight TOHG members, including Lisa Lyons on her very first Gang excursion, gathered on a private homestead just outside Ashburnham, a few miles south of the New Hampshire border, for a hike on the Massachusetts Midstate Trail. While the trail crosses the breadth of Massachusetts, we “only” covered the parts of Section 3, one of the oldest sections—a hiking trail between Mount Watatic and Wachusett Mountain that has existed for nearly 100 years. After a long downhill on abandoned Whitney Road, we started on the trail proper from an old bridge crossing Philips Brook. Using walking poles, everyone had a grand time scrambling over rocks, roots, and the odd rivulet fed by earlier summer rains. The leader had to backtrack on occasion to find some of the faded trail markers, but with everyone’s input, the team made it in timely fashion through forests young and old and foliage colors yellow, red, and green, to Muddy Pond for a rest and photos at one of four Midstate Trail huts. After a walk back on a country road, we shared lunch at a restaurant in Westminster, which for some of us was the first time dining indoors at a restaurant in over 18 months. What a joy to share this experience for so many reasons! We hope to see Lisa on many more TOHG events, and we hope that next year the trail signage will be improved for an even better hike.