Top Ten Hikes of 2015

Posted By on December 29, 2015

Top Ten Hikes of 2015

okay peeps, time for my top ten favorite hikes of 2015. this time, there are several entries that are comprised of multiple hikes. and one of those isn’t really fair because it took place in another whole country. but since it’s my blog i can put what i want here, right?

number 10—goldstar bridge

the city line

the city line

this wasn’t a real “hike,” per se, but a long walk, and one that was an itch i’d been wanting to scratch for a long time. the goldstar bridge crosses the thames river between new london and groton, connecticut, and it has a pedestrian walkway. finding the entrance to the walkway was the hard part—that, and not getting run down by the cyclists and motorbike riders.

number 9—north beach

beach at north beach

beach at north beach

this was another of my “itches i’d been meaning to scratch hikes”… as i said in the original post, i first read about this on the facebook page of another hiking blogger. really glad i found it, and i am totally serious when i say i plan on hiking here next summer so i can take a dip mid-vin gormley trail.

number 8—tefft hill from the state garage

black trumpet bounty

black trumpet bounty

as you know from my favorite hikes page, this is one of my absolute favorite hikes. and this particular hike was especially amazing for the TONS of black trumpet mushrooms we collected. this hike was also noteworthy for the bushwhacking we had to do to avoid some particularly aggressive bees on one of the bog bridges.

number 7—shelter & breakheart trails

morning sun on the trail

morning sun on the trail

this is another hike i do maybe 2 or 3 times a year, but this particular one was memorable because of the time of day. i don’t usually get out this early, but it had been beastly buggy and hot and humid, and i needed to get mileage in in anticipation of a trip i was planning, so i got here very early in the morning. it was unusually beautiful.

number 6—lyme preserves

old house site

old house site

the town of lyme, connecticut, has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to open space. there are 2 state forests and 20 properties that belong to the lyme land trust, and many of them are interconnected by a complex and well-maintained trail system. i managed to visit 5 or 6 of the preserves on this trip. they are gorgeous—totally worth the trip. i will be visiting lyme again in 2016 for sure.

number 5—norman bird sanctuary

one of many fantastic views

one of many fantastic views

this audubon society property in middletown, rhode island, is drop-dead gorgeous. seriously, it’s one of the most beautiful places i’ve hiked. it’s worth paying the entrance fee if you’re not an audubon society member.

number 4—gungywamp

al brown of the dpnc in the stone circle

al brown of the dpnc in the stone circle

this is a spot i’d been aware of for several years, but since it’s on private property, i had to wait for a guided hike. finally got here, and the place does not disappoint. it’s full of mysterious structures, including a calendar chamber and standing stones. very, very cool.

number 3—groton crosstown trail

pedestrian bridge

pedestrian bridge

the groton crosstown trail is another one that connects state parks with other open space. there’s a short bit of road walking, but not as much as you might expect. i really, really enjoyed this hike, even though i got very lost at one point. it was a blast seeing all the different properties, which are surprisingly distinct from one another. this was done as a car spot, with thanks to my very patient husband.

number 2—the north-south trail

78 miles to the ocean

78 miles to the ocean

yeah, not really one hike. legs here: leg 1, leg 2, leg 3, leg 4, leg 5, leg 6, leg 7, leg 8, leg 9, leg 10, and finally leg 11. it took most of the year, but it was so much fun—even some of the long road sections. i cannot recommend it enough. it’s a fantastic way to see rhode island.

and for my #1 favorite hike of 2015…

the kerry way

view

view

once again, not just one hike. it turned out to be 4 long hikes, and it was one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever seen. this is the part of the world some of my ancestors came from. the kerry way goes all the way around a peninsula on the southwestern part of ireland, and you’re rarely out of sight of the ocean. stunning. i won’t even begin to talk about the journey to ireland and back—it’s a tale better suited to telling scary stories around the campfire with a flashlight under your chin. but the hikes themselves were epic. you can read the posts here: day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 4.

and those are my 2015 favorite hikes. there were, of course, tons of other memorable moments in the woods, and believe me, this was not an easy list to compile. here’s hoping yours and my 2016 has many many more wonderful moments.

Comments

2 Responses to “Top Ten Hikes of 2015”

  1. Eleanor McClelland says:

    Thanks for reporting on your faves for fifteen! Keep trekking, girlfriend! Hope to join you now and again. Happy sixteen!

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