Assistant Press Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
Columbus Day weekend I got to fulfill a wish I’ve had for the past two years – hiking the nine-plus miles of the Skyline Trail in DCR’s Blue Hills Reservation. For me, the greatest thing about the Blue Hills is that it provides over 125 miles of awesome hiking trails so close to Boston.
The Skyline crosses the entire range of the Blue Hills and takes you to some fantastic peaks, like the Wampatuck, Chickatawbut, Buck and Great Blue Hills. Once thing you should know – this is not a loop trail, and you’ll need two cars to shuttle you from one end to the other.
Be warned: this is not a hike for the faint of heart. Some parts of the trail were rugged, rocky and narrow. Six of us started (a few folks had to turn around) from the west end of the trail at the Route 138 entrance. We made our way to the summit of the 635-foot Great Blue Hill then continued past the Eliot Tower, a stone structure that provides an amazing view of the Boston skyline. Hmm, I wonder if that’s how the trail got its name?
It was a warm day for a hike, reaching up into the 80s. You should always plan to bring enough water when you go hiking – at least two liters. A lot variables factor into that measurement: your level of fitness, humidity, temperature and how much you exert yourself. Warmer weather calls for more water. And carry foods that contain potassium and sodium like peanuts, raisins, and bananas.
Originally we had planned to hike the weekend before, but there was rain so we rescheduled it. In my opinion trails are always best when they’re dry, especially where the trail gets rocky. Remember to monitor weather conditions and wear the proper clothes and footwear before setting off. One trick I learned from one on of my companions is to put insoles into my hiking boots for comfort.
During our five-hour hike we saw some green, lush landscapes and picturesque vistas along the way. The terrain is rocky in places and it was at the Chickatawbut Hill that I felt like I was rock-climbing to get to the top.
At the end, I couldn’t help but smile. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming at completing the trail. If you’re up for a strenuous hike, I highly recommend the Skyline trail!
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.