Not having been out for a "real hike" since Moosilauke in November was really starting to get to us. It's been nice having snow on the locfal trails for our morning walks since before Christmas, but it's just not the same. When we found out that our prior commitments for yesterday had been canceled and our daughter had to be at school play practice all day we knew we had to find some way to get a hike in. Not enough time to get too far nort <sigh> so we took the next best option - Blue Hills.
We've been to Blue Hills a number of times before and done quite a few different trail combinations but we haven't been in the winter before. We usually use it for "spring training" hikes (which it is great for). Turns out that it's just a fantastic place in winter.
Our time was limited yesterday and we lost a bit of time having to park at the lot down to road from the Trailside Museum (due to the ski lots being full). We wound up doing a leisurely loop around the north and south Skyline Trails between Rt 138 and park headquarters. It was an absolutely perfect day for a winter hike - mid 20's, sunny and clear. The trails were perfect and were a great chance to give the new microspikes a workout. We just love the microspikes and loved them even more when we watched others in bare boots slipping on the steep spots that we had just walked down with ease.
The best part about Blue Hills is the diversity. You can get all the elevation gain you want with lots of ups and downs or you can take many more level routes. The main trails are all well packed out but if you want to snowshoe just use the side-trails and you can have new snow to your hearts content. While the views (and the trails) don't compare to being in the Whites it sure beats missing another day of winter hiking!
We even got to hike to the Weather Observatory (OK, just the Blue Hills OBS)
Good chance to try out the microspikes
Great Blue Hill observation tower
How far south is that parking lot???