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  1. #1

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    Entry-level: A day hike with hang option near Boston

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to mention this little hike I did with the family because it's so close to Boston and it never seems to come up when discussing outdoor trips. I'm posting here because there's a campground associated with the mountains and they are very hammock friendly. This seems like a good hike and place to stay one of your kids to get them started in hiking and hammocking. And the big bonus is that it's about 90 minutes form Boston.

    So we did a day trip to Pawtuckaway ... the New Hampshire state park is made up of three small mountains, North, Middle and South Pawtuckaway. To get there take 95N to 101W, then to 154. The state park is 1/2 a mile form the exit.

    There's plenty of hiking and bouldering available around North Pawtuckaway, and the attached map shows those trails. On North Pawtuckaway there is a nice boulder field where people go to practice and an interesting area called the Devil's Den...a dark, dense old growth forest that's provides cool temperatures, caves and an incredible silence that's hard to find outdoors, certainly that close to a major city.

    Back to Entry-level hiking with a hang for kids, consider South Pawtuckaway. South Pawtuckaway is accessible from inside Pawtuckaway State Park campground and the trail that leaves form inside the campgound is about a 6 mile round trip to the top. It's not a high peak but it's very open and provides great views - and that gives younger hikers something to work for. There's also an old fire tower and the climb up the rickety stairs improves the view even more.

    After the day hike, get a spot at the campground and hang for the night. There's a nice beach and a small store as well. It's a big campground, but the best sites are the waterfront sites on Horse Island. I walked in with my son a few weeks ago and got site #3 that had just cancelled. It was a great site with hanging right at water's edge.

    John
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member eflat7's Avatar
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    I'm jealous. Those pictures are gorgeous. The picture of the sunset almost made me feel like I was there. Nice escape! Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3

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    Thanks - the pix were from my camera in my phone...I was amazed.

    I like the whole wilderness thing - but sometimes you need something lower key to inch the youngin's into camping. Pawtuckaway gives you some hiking, some beach beach, some fishing, some hangin' all in one neat little package. I've taken my middle son up Mt Liberty in Franconia for an overnight on the AMC platforms (pre-hammock days) and I loved it...but he missed having the open campfire because of regs in the area.

    I'm planning a 16 miler with a friend in the Whites in a few weeks - Rodger's Ledge, Unknown Pond (hang near there), The Bulge, The Horn and Mt Cabot. Dispersed camping and fires allowed so that should be interesting...maybe I'll take him next year.

    John

  4. #4
    Dutch's Avatar
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    sounds like a great day hike.
    Peace Dutch
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Poppabear's Avatar
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    Nice report thanks for sharing.
    Terry

  6. #6
    Senior Member coolkayaker1's Avatar
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    jlara--Thanks for the photos and write-up.

    If you want another outstanding trip that is less than 90 minutes from Boston, check out Tully Lake. Locally, it features Doane's Falls (seven waterfalls in a row! 1/2 miles from tent-only camping area), the canoe rentals for trip to Long Pond right from camping area. Google any of it for information. Royalston- Athol, Massachusetts. It's a mind-blower, it's so good. I grew up there. C ya

    Heck I;ll make it easy on ya:
    http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to...ke-campground/

    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q...w=1600&bih=789

    http://tinyurl.com/285dm6u

  7. #7
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    Nice report of a good time. Thanks for sharing.

    Are those boots in the second picture from L L Bean (lightweight hikers)? I think I have the same pair - I love them.

  8. #8

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    Tully Campgound and Trail

    Excellent suggestion coolkayaker!

    I actually go to Tully Campground every year with my middle son (favorites? Sites 16, 31 and 2!) It's an awesome campground and the lake loop hike is nice too. I haven't done Tully Trail, though it sounds fun to hike out and overnight at the shelter.

    Another excellent kinda local one is Pillsbury...I wrote about it earlier this year. Just off 89 before Sunapee. Close enough to day trip Sunnapee or Kearsarge. I'm heading back with my wife in a couple of weeks to do the Lucia's Lookout loop from Pillsbury...and a hangin' overnight of course. It'll be her first hang and she's not too keen but we'll see!

    j


    Quote Originally Posted by coolkayaker1 View Post
    jlara--Thanks for the photos and write-up.

    If you want another outstanding trip that is less than 90 minutes from Boston, check out Tully Lake. Locally, it features Doane's Falls (seven waterfalls in a row! 1/2 miles from tent-only camping area), the canoe rentals for trip to Long Pond right from camping area. Google any of it for information. Royalston- Athol, Massachusetts. It's a mind-blower, it's so good. I grew up there. C ya

    Heck I;ll make it easy on ya:
    http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to...ke-campground/

    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q...w=1600&bih=789

    http://tinyurl.com/285dm6u

  9. #9
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Looks like a great area to go to. a little something for everyone
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  10. #10
    Senior Member coolkayaker1's Avatar
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    jlara--seems you know the tent areas in MA well. If you return to Tully and Doane's Falls, be sure to rent that canoe and paddle up to Long Pond, if you've not already. It's secluded and super fine. And ask the campground warden to direct you to two places you've likely not found yet (but maybe you have): Spirit Falls, which is very hidden off from Long Pond and requires a short hike up if you know just where to look for it (it's a splendid long cascade down through completely undeveloped woodlands--it is spiritual, indeed), and a quick drive past the iconic New England charm of Royalston center, all the way to the dead end of Falls Road, and then hike in to the deepest single drop in the area, Royalston Falls! It'll make you gasp when you see it, esp in springtime and early summer.

    Here's a photographer's website with photos of both Royalston Falls and Spirit Falls. Both excellent--as you can see from the photos!
    http://www.scenicnewengland.net/phot...waterfalls.php

    And finally, Tully Mountain, which I read is part of the 22 mile Tully Trail--we locals just drive and park and go up the mtn. LOL A really neat 45 minute hike after only a 10 minute drive from the Tully Campground, it has a rocky outcropping that overlooks Tully Lake, and is where all the local high school kids go to make out. You have to climb to get to it, but nothing dangerous, and the view is exceptional. Again, ask the ranger for directions. Tully Mountain. http://www.northquabbinwoods.org/entries/45

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tully_Mountain

    Okay, finally, jlara, and I know I'm getting irritating here, 10 minutes drive in another direction from the campground at Tully is Mt Grace! A 40 minute climb on a wide old roadway brings you up 1600 feet to a 50 foot firetower, and the views up that tower are what makes eagles soar!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Grace

    On a clear day, you can see the skyscrapers of Boston, 75 miles east--and yes, they let you climb up the tower to the landing just below the entry to the firespotter's lookout (you can hear the scanners and radios inside the tower room). The view, of course you know this, jlara, in the wikipedia photo from the Mount Grace Fire Tower is Mt. Monadnock. Glorious and stately!

    Spirit Falls, Royalston Falls, Tully Mtn, Mt. Grace. The ranger will point you to all of them. Enjoy!

    P.S. I live in IL now, and miss it dearly. Please do post photos next time you go.
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 09-06-2010 at 01:05.

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