11/7/2021 – Tillotson & Belvidere
Five of us met at 8 AM at the Cambridge park & ride and headed up to the Tillotson Road trailhead, where we met the other two. It was mostly sunny, and a warm day for November, starting out in the 30s F but getting up to around 50 F later in the day, so most of us quickly shed some layers as we headed up the Frank Post Trail. The trail was a little hard to see with all the fallen leaves, and even harder at the end of the day as we hiked out on the Foresters Trail, but we managed to avoid getting lost. We took a short break after reaching Tillotson Camp around 10:15, and from this point the trail gained more consistent patches of crusty snow and ice. We debated whether to try for Tillotson Peak, since the Long Trail section leading to it has some normally very wet spots, and decided to do so and turn around if it got too swampy to avoid soaking our feet. It turned out to be a good decision, as we were able to rock and log hop or skirt all of the wet spots, though there were some blowdowns to crawl under. After taking the side herd path to reach Tillotson summit around 11:10, we returned to Tillotson Camp around 11:45 where we had lunch. We then continued on to Belvidere, passing by Lockwood Pond. We reached the Belvidere saddle around 1:45, where Rob chose to skip the summit and head down the Foresters Trail while the rest of us took the spur trail to the Belvidere summit. Several people donned microspikes for the spur trail, and most chose to climb the firetower. Reza started down quickly to catch up with Rob, and the rest of us started down a little later, around 2:15. Although the streams were relatively high, the crucial stepping stones on the Lockwood Brook crossing were above water, so that final obstacle was passed without any problems. We didn’t catch up to Rob and Reza until we reached the cars around 4 PM. Just before that Joshua spotted a black wallet beside the trail containing a student school ID and some money. Since Rich lived closest to the school he offered to arrange for its return. At the parking area we saw a woman who’d been section hiking the Long Trail and was waiting for a ride. She thanked us for an offer of help, but assured us her ride was coming. It was a great day for a hike and a great group to hike with! Participants: Michele Kupersmith, Reza Ramazani, John Rankin, Rob Gordon, Rich Douglass, Joshua, David Hathaway (leader).