Location: Leominster State Forest, Westminster, MA
Date: February 18, 2015
Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Our Hiking Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes roundtrip
Trail Blaze: White Rectangles
Freshman year of college I had the best roommate a girl could ask for – Amanda always had my back, and made sure we had invites to the parties thrown by all the cool lesbians. Even though she left school after that year, we remained friends. Twenty-two years later, and we still keep in touch.
We don’t get to see each other as often as I’d like, but when she suggested a romp through the woods, I started searching online for the perfect spot. We settled on Leominster State Forest, halfway between Amanda’s place in western MA, and ours in northeastern MA.
When we arrived, we were surprised to see the gates to the main entrance were locked and closed for the season, but after driving just a few more minutes up the road, we came to a parking area and trailhead. We pulled in next to Amanda’s truck and got to work gearing everyone up. Amanda got to experience the controlled chaos that occurs when getting three kids four and under ready for a hike in the woods!
Once everyone had on their outer layers, and Amanda had taken Addie to the portapotty, we headed onto the trail. I was super impressed with Amanda’s retro Tubbs snowshoes. Aside from being cool looking, they kept her floating above the powdery snow even better than ours!
The trail cut through a small picnic area, and The snow was so high, only the tops of the tables were visible. Addie found this sight to be quite amusing. As we came to the end of the trail spur, we crossed over the Crow Hill Pond and followed the Wolf Rock trail.
Because this trail was packed down, Addie was happy to take the lead. When we arrived at the parking lot for the main entrance, the snow was much deeper, so I cut trail for her to follow. We crossed the parking lot and headed up the Ball Hill trail. Though somewhat packed down, we were still sinking into the snow a bit. It wasn’t long before Addie’s little legs were tired out. We had originally planned to follow the trail until it met back up with the Wolf a Rock trail, but we decided to cut our losses and head back the way we came.
Amanda gave Addie a piggy back ride back down the hill, and then we all retraced our steps back to the parking lot. Though it wasn’t a long hike, it was beautiful, and I cherished the time catching up with Amanda. You know you have a lifelong friendship when each conversation seems to flow into the next even when separated by months and years. We have come a long way since our college days – and hiking together in the stillness of the forest seemed to reflect the joy and peace we have both found in life.
Directions to Leominster State Forest
From Rt. 2 East: Take Exit 28 to Rt. 31 South and travel 1.3 miles to office building entrance on right. Travel another .07 of a mile to park entrance on left.
From Rt. 2 West: Take Exit 28 to Rt. 31 South and travel 1 mile office building entrance of right. Travel another .07 of a mile to park entrance on left
From Rt. 190: From I-190 take Rt. 140 north. Take a right at the flashing yellow light in Princeton onto Rt. 31 north and travel 1.75 miles on Rt. 31 north. The entrance is on the right.