We met at the Cambridge park and ride at 8:30 and took two cars to the trailhead at the end of Tillotson Road in Lowell. It was overcast and just above freezing, and the ground was pretty wet from recent rain and snow as we started out at 9:30. After about 15 minutes we reached the junction of the Frank Post and Forester’s trails, and continued up the Frank Post Trail, reaching Tillotson Camp around 10:45.
As we climbed we started to encounter snow on the ground, but never saw more than a couple inches on the whole trip. David Stoll opted to wait at Tillotson Camp while the rest of us took the side trip up the Long Trail north to Tillotson Peak, with only four of us taking the little off trail jog to the viewless summit. We returned to Tillotson Camp around noon, had lunch, and then continued on the Long trail South. This is an area where numerous animal tracks have been seen in past years, but the dripping snow and rain from the trees erased any tracks we might have seen.
David Hathaway and Amanda Debruyn did see a snowshoe hare racing across the trail at one point, but it was gone before any of the following folks could see it. We also saw another group of hikers from UVM doing the same loop we were in the reverse direction, with plans to stay overnight at Tillotson Camp. We reached the Belvidere trail junction around 2:20, where four of us opted to head up to the Belvidere summit and the other four headed down Forester’s Trail. The trail up was, as usual, a little icy and slippery, but not enough to break out microspikes.
Only two of us climbed to the very windy top of the fire tower, then we headed back down. The summit group caught up with the other group near the trail junction, and we all reached the cars around 4:10.
Participants: Rob Gordon, Reza Ramazani, David Stoll, Max Seaton, Amanda Debruyn, Holly Creeks, Robin Lessoff, David Hathaway (leader).