Hike #35: Westwoods Reserve Trails- Lost Lake in Guildford, CT

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A big thing I did when I lived in Los Angeles were the Secret Stair walks. That guide book got me out in the sun, visiting a neighborhood that was new to me, plenty of exercise, and all of the cheap price of a one-time book purchase. Now that it’s spring, I dug out my AMC Best Day Hikes In Connecticut hiking book and decided that I should tackle the hikes in this book during 2017. I won’t be able to do all 50 in 2017, but I certainly hope to do most of these hikes. My posts will not reveal all aspects of the hike, as I am not a replacement for owning this book, but hopefully my images can help encourage you to buy the book and follow along. Or at least inspire you to get a hike book for wherever you live and to get outside!

Now to share my first hike from this book! I started with hike #35 Westwoods Reserve Trails- Lost Lake in Guildford, CT.

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I went right to the small lot that the book described (which only holds about 5 cars by the way). I imagine street parking is allowed as overflow from the lot.. but I’m not exactly sure, so check road signs! The first thing I did was photograph the map. I ALWAYS photograph the map of the trail I’m about to climb with my cell phone, to use as reference incase I get lost. This is surprisingly helpful.

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The book clarifies this hike as “easy with moderate sections” and I would totally agree. For the most part is was small hills and wide stone paths (like photographed above) but there were short sections that involved steep climbing over rocks, up hill and down hill. I was very glad to have my hiking boots on and was glad there wasn’t more snow on the ground – too slippery!

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This path starts be taking you by the railroad tracks which meant you could hear train noises frequently along the trail.

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There are several splits in the trail, so keep vigilant looking for trail markers and confirm on the map.

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At a few points you climb down the rocks along big boulders. The book talks a lot about the types of rock, trees, and plants.. although in the snow none of this was really applicable.

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There are some steep uphill sections that lead to great water views of the lake.

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Okay this made me laugh out loud when I saw it. I have no clue what/who this group is and I refuse to google “Team Alpha Butt Stuff” for obvious reasons.

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Great views from the trail! I saw birds circling, so I imagine this is a great birding spot.

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The hike takes you from down by the water to up on large rocks high above the lake.

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This was a section where I had to use my hands to get up the boulders and then be careful not to slide down the rock faces. This is where the hiking boots really came in handy. It was also around here where I totally got lost. Since it was snowy, I figured if I followed the fresh footprints, Id eventually link back up with the trail. This theory turned out to be a good one, as it did lead me to where I needed to meet back up with the trail.. but I did end up climbing through muddy/swampy areas. So if you find yourself no longer seeing trail markers, work backward until you meet back up with the trail.

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At the furthest point in the loop, there are some watery areas with little wood “bridge” planks. It was pretty fun. Don’t fall in!

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The blue path that I was on became the orange “X” trail, which would lead me back to the parking lot.

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Snowy, but pretty! I like that this trail had a pretty wide path, and the snow actually kept it from getting crowded. I only passed two people on the trail, but I imagine on a nice day this would be a busy trek.

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Once again, you pass by the train tracks to get to the parking lot.

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One thing that is fun about doing a hike in a new-to-me area is checking out the local coffee shops after the hike as a reward. I’m not new to Guilford but it was fun to make time to visit a local coffee shop and soak up the pretty Guilford Square scenery.

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I stopped into Cilantro Specialty Foods Coffee Shop along the Guilford Green to warm up (it was a very cold day), refuel, and read up on the next hike I was headed to this afternoon.

Next up: Hike 47, McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (Salt Meadow Unit) !

California Dreamin’



Anyone else longing for spring? I love the snow but I’m tired of the cold. I hop on a jet Thursday for some California time back in LA. I’m looking forward to sunshine, warmth and good friends. Im also VERY jazzed about the impending time change. It’s happening people, spring is coming. I’m hoping that when I get back to CT mid March that the change to spring will officially be in motion. Longer daylight hours, warmer temps, and I can explore more of New Haven on foot after work. 

Thinking warm thoughts, 

Life Absorbed 

Happy Holidays from Cape Cod!

Did you notice I’ve been MIA? Do This Today Posts will be back in full force in 2015, I swear. I’ve been on a Cape Cod winter hiatus.

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The hiatus started with a nasty cold that thankfully has passed. After a few days of rest I was able to get out and explore. Stop one was an evening Brewster beach walk (photo above) and a stop into some local shops (Chatham Town Center and Brewster General Store). Shop local!

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One day we ventured out to Monomoy Nature Preserve (below) and did a fun 3+ mile loop. Winter time on the Cape means very quiet beach walks and thankfully this was a calm 40 degree day so it wasn’t too cold.

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Yesterday we drove all the way out to Provincetown and did a walk along Herring Cove (below) before shopping in town and catching the sunset. It was so beautiful, but it was around 29/30 degrees and breezy. Yikes it was cold!

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Look at this gem I found in a shop in P-town! It’s a poster ad for the Rolling Stones doing a pre-tour show at Toad’s Place in New Haven. Ticket price? $3.01! Man that would have been a fun show. What a great find!

After visiting a few shops in P-Town we caught the sunset and drove to Orleans for a yummy seafood dinner at Old Jailhouse Tavern (a family favorite restaurant).

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Up next, I recap my 2014 resolutions and then I’ll share my 2015 goals. 2015 will be a big year! 🙂

A Cape Cod Hiatus

Sorry for the lack of communication, but I’ve been hiatusing out on Cape Cod with limited internet access and plenty of cold but beautiful weather. I love Cape Cod in the winter. It’s way less crowded, expensive stores are having wild sales (yes, I will buy this at 50% off), and the colors are so unique. Desaturated winter colors are just as gorgeous to me as bright colors. Just see for yourself. The blue sky, soft clouds and golden dried grasses are some of my favorite color combinations that are worth exploring even in the frigid cold.

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Lighthouse Beach, Chatham MA

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Chatham, MA Fish Pier

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Salt Pond, Orleans MA

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Overlooking Nauset Marsh, Orleans MA

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Also overlooking Nauset Marsh in Orleans. This was more about our three shadows.

I’ll check in tomorrow and do a round up of 2013 resolutions (I don’t think I did so hot), and figure out a plan for 2014!

Cape Cod in the Winter

Over the holiday’s I was on the East Coast visiting with friends and family and doing my best to stay warm. A couple days after Christmas I drove from Connecticut to spend the next week with my family in Cape Cod.

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The above photo was taken mid route between Providence and Cape Cod (at Fall River). Don’t worry, I was in the passenger seat.

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This photo was taken going over the Bourne Bridge at Sunset. The drive out to Cape Cod is very beautiful.

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There’s really nothing like an East Coast Christmas. Cape Cod is such a beautiful place, even in the (extreme) cold.

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The above four photos were taken at Harding Beach in Chatham. It was a very cold and windy beach walk, but it makes for a fun adventure.

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The above four photos were taken at the Chatham Fish Pier, which is a great seal/shark lookout place in the summer and is also next to a tasty fish market. It’s a fun place to go and watch the fishing boats come in with their daily take. The fish attract the seals, and the seals attract the sharks.. circle of life.

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The above two photos are from Chatham Lighthouse and the beach accompanying it.

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The last stop at sunset was Cold Storage Beach in Dennis. If it weren’t so frigid and windy, this is a great walking beach to explore in the summer time. You can see these beach photos have WAY less snow, since this is the bay-side.

Every year people flock to Cape Cod in the summer time, and yet everything shuts down in the winter. I find the quite and stillness mixed with the snowy landscape just so beautiful in winter. If you have the chance to experience Cape Cod in the winter, it’s worth your time.

Exploring Cape Cod: Nauset Marsh

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One of the first places we explored during our time in Cape Cod (Dec 28- Jan 2) was Nauset Marsh in Eastham, MA. It was a beautiful day but extremely cold and breezy (a rough combo for a California girl like me).

I was a trooper with my many layers of sweaters and jackets. We followed the trails which in the summertime makes a great bike path. It takes you though the woods (ultimately leading to a visitors center) and along the marsh. It’s fun doing in the winter time because the colors are so unique. The yellows, golds, muted browns and deep reds make for some fun photography, especially compared to the bright colorful photos I’m used to taking in LA.

The photo below was taken from the parking lot of Coast Guard Beach, which is where you would park to explore the bike path and trails along Nauset Marsh. This is a great place to take someone who has trouble walking (maybe a 93 year old Grandma perhaps?). They have several benches along the parking lot, so even sitting you can enjoy a great view and gorgeous sunset.

After the sun began to set and our exploration time was nearing an end, we continued on to Nauset Light (see the picture below). It was only a quick drive-by, but you might as well if you made it all the way out to Nauset Marsh.

Just around the corner from Nauset Light are three lighthouses called The Three Sisters. Stop and take a peek as you’re leaving Nauset Light. Click the link to learn the history of these three lighthouses (all missing their top lights).