On our final day of the mini camping trip before saying bye to the little cabin in the woods we took the Mahican-Mohawk Trail, which runs parallel to the Cold River. We followed the trail until we hit the forest boundary. Our time in the picturesque Mohawk woods was drawing to a close. With a heavy heart we bid adieu to the little cabin in the woods that had been home for two nights. We were on the road a little after 11am, the only wildlife I had spotted was some frogs and mosquitoes. On the way back home we stopped at the little Village of Shelburne Falls known for its artists co-ops, bridge of flowers and glacial potholes. The weather was perfect and there wasn’t a single cloud on the horizon but alas it was time to go home.
Links to the previous parts
Little cabin in the woods
Village of Shelburne Falls
Roses on the Bridge of Flowers
Pines on the Thumper Mountain Trail
The meadow surrounded by tall pines
Red Pine Plantation
Having survived the night without any encounters with black bears, the next morning Mr. Kitteh and I went out in search of the tallest pines in New England. On our hikes we saw a lot of the thinner and the taller than average pines, the supermodels of pines, if you will. However since the arborists who measure the length of the pines keep the exact location of the tallest pines a secret, I am not quite sure whether we saw the tallest pines in New England.
First we climbed the Thumper Mountain which was a short and a pleasant hike. Then we took the Nature trail which goes from the campground to the Deerfield river and then runs parallel to it. There are many river look outs throughout the trail. On the other side is a meadow of tall grass bordered by tall pines. The Nature trail continues through a red pine plantation. Throughout the day the sky overcast, thankfully for us it did not rain.
We had worked up quite an appetite by the time we got back, late in the afternoon. Dinner was chipotle chicken hotdogs with a dash of green chutney, grilled corn on the cob, green salad with tomatoes and s’mores over the campfire for desert. Perfect, except for the swarm of mosquitoes that decided to join us as it got darker.
The next day we had planned to walk along the Mahican-Mohawk trail and stop at the Village of Shelburne Falls before heading back home. (to be continued)
Note: For more details on the hikes in the Mohawk Trail State forest, click here.
Here comes the second installment of my camping trip to the Mohawk Trail State Forest, you will find the first part here.
So why Mohawk Trail State Forest, you may ask. Well, two reasons, it is nearby and for me the name evoked the romance of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. The Mahicans, who eventually lost out to the Mohawks, are said to be the inspiration behind the Mohicans. Mahican-Mohawk Trail runs through the forest. It is also home to some of the tallest pines in New England.
The Mohawk Trail follows an old Indian trade route. Along the way to Charlemont, we passed many small towns on the winding road, that hugged the Deerfield river. It was easy to imagine Hawkeye walking through these paths. Dashing Daniel Day Lewis with long hair, so hot! The sudden jolt I received when Mr. Schroedinger’s cat had to slow down brought me back to reality, from my day dreams. Instead of handsome Hawkeye there was road work to greet us as we entered Charlemont. The rain had already tapered as we entered the State Forest.
I had booked the cabin online and filled a pre-check-in form, so it took all of two minutes to register. As the pretty blond forest ranger handed us over key, I casually asked her about whether there were any black bears around, since we were officially in black bear country. I expected her to say, don’t worry about it. Instead she recounted a story of how she had encountered a black bear on a walk in the town with her mother. By the way, she said the bear can outrun you. To make it go away you have to yell in your most authoritative voice. She also cheerfully volunteered that her mother had Lyme disease and could not run, nevertheless the bear had disappeared after a stern scolding. Lyme disease brought up concerns about ticks, and added that she was bitten by ticks umpteen times before, and that it was no big deal. This was not good. We finally got a bundle of firewood from her and proceeded to drive to our cabin, with me fervently wishing that I would never encounter either a bear or a tick.
The cabin was tiny but picturesque, though a bit dark and musty on the inside. There was a bunk bed and a table and some chairs. There was also a tiny kitchen counter and dark cabinets above and below. For cooler months there was a woodstove. The restroom and the showers were about a five minute walk from the cabin. Thankfully I had packed food for us that did not need heating. I survived the night without an encounter with a bear. As a safety precaution I had Mr. Schrodinger’s cat accompany me to the rest room so I had something to offer the bear besides myself, just in case the bear stopped by to say hello. (to be continued)