Join Margaret for this hike
West Esker Trail in Mendon Ponds Park, 1.5 miles, rated: easy
While we do not have snow for skiing yet, let’s take a winter hike! Marked by orange trail blazes, this trail can be accessed directly from either of two parking lots. We will be meeting and accessing the trail from a small parking lot close to the Hopkins Point Road is a park road entrance to the park. (Hopkins Point Road is closed right after this parking lot as it does each winter and will be reopened again in the spring.)
Unfortunately, access to the bathrooms is only seasonal so please plan ahead or be prepared to take a bio break off trail.
Description of West Esker Trail: The western side of the main loop follows a long wooded ridge, an esker formed by glaciers, which provides many great views this time of year with the leaves off the trees. At the south turn of the loop, one of the best known hills of the park, Cardiac Hill, makes for a very steep but relatively short climb that is popular for runners and off-season cross country skiers training hill repeats. We will be going down this hill. Following the east side of the main loop counterclockwise, the trail makes its way more gradually back up to the top of the ridge.
If anyone is interested in hiking more, we can either hike around some off-shoots of the West Esker Trail. I started exploring some of these off-shoots last weekend, these off-shoots have lots of hills, so if you like using poles – you may want them for this part of the hike. Alternately, we could select another trail such as the Quaker Pond Trail.
Link to a PDF trail map of Mendon Ponds Park:
This event is limited to 25 members
No dogs please, to better allow us to spot wildlife.
- A mask - required for unvaccinated, optional/recommended for everyone else.
- Recommended: water, warm boots/trail runners, hat, gloves
- Optional: walking poles, micro spikes, lunch/snack, camera, binoculars
Although there has been no snow to date, two or three inches of snow is predicted for Saturday, the day before the hike; high temperature for Sunday is forecast to be 29 degrees F. Please dress for the weather; dressing in layers is encouraged.
Are you vaccinated? Please let us know when you register. Based on that response, we can tailor appropriate CDC safety protocols for this meeting.
Address will be in your registration confirmation email.
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