Trip reports for July 2021 (updated 7/26)

7/24/2021 – Mansfield Ridge
Anticipating very crowded parking at the state park, we met at 8:30 at the Underhill Center commuter lot. After waiting about 5 minutes for one no show, we took three cars up to the state park. The regular parking was full so we parked by the side of the road, but managed to grab spots above the gate (when we returned we saw cars stretched out for perhaps 2/10 of a mile below the gate). Weather was perfect as we started up Eagles Cut and reached the end of the CCC road and bottom of the Maple Ridge Trail around 10 AM. We then headed up Maple Ridge, taking a brief break for the first view just below the Frost Trail junction, and again at around 10:30 at the Rock Garden Trail junction to replace the very weathered sign there. At the rock face higher up Maple Ridge, about half the group opted for the unmarked bypass that cuts left just below the face. We reached the Forehead around 11:30, and the visitor center around noon. Ava, the GMC steward at the visitor center, kindly offered to take the somewhat bulky old Rock Garden sign back to GMC headquarters the next time she drove down, so we didn’t have to carry it for the rest of the trip. From the visitor center the trail became very crowded. We reached the summit around 1, then headed down Sunset Ridge. We took the short 0.4 mile round trip side trip to Cantilever Rock, which most of the group had never seen, then continued down, reaching the cars around 3:20. Participants: Tim W., Jacob Trahan, Christian Mesh, Theo, Dani Buneo, Sue Riggen, Ali Riggen, Lela McCaffery, David Hathaway (leader). Photos: Tim W.
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7/11/2021 – Laraway Lookout
We met at the Cambridge park & ride at 10 AM, and everyone showed up before the appointed hour! Thanks to all participants (we often have no shows, especially among those who sign up on meetup). We had 9 sign up through meetup, and one who called me for a spot. We took three cars to the Codding Hollow trailhead. The road is in much better shape than I’ve seen in past years. It was a pleasant day as we started up the trail around 10:30 AM. The group stayed together well, and those at the front waited for stragglers, and gave them time to rest before pushing on. Great group hiking etiquette! We passed the overhanging rock faces before reaching the Laraway Lookout, where we met a couple Long Trail through hikers, one NOBO (northbound) and one SOBO (southbound), along with a few other people. We hung out for a bit, having lunch and enjoying the views, and then headed back down, reaching the cars around 2:30. Participants: Sean Conners, Chelsea, Maria E, Renata Cupertino, Ana, Debora, Christian Mesh, Jordan Mitchell, Linda S., Andy S., David Hathaway (leader).
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