|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Wilbraham Mountain, Minnechaug Mountain, MA|
||Goat Rock Trail, road walk, Algonquin Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, May 27, 2023|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Hampden Memorial Park was busy. I parked in the overflow lot which is a very short walk to the main parking lot where the trail starts in the back left corner. In general, I think there’s plenty of room. No trespassing September 1st-December 1st on the Algonquin Trail because it becomes a shooting range EXCEPT 12-5pm on Sundays according to a sign I saw. Beyond that, the parking situation seems fine. You just park at the VFW. |
||Dry Trail, Leaves - Significant/Slippery |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Goat Rock Trail is blazed in white. Blazing is usually pretty regular and somewhat frequent. Some jcts with other trails or paths are blazed, others are not, so pay attention to blazing! I believe there was one very old stepover blowdown as the trail descends to Goat Rock along the old cart road with a herd path around it. Algonquin Trail was similar with the blazing situation but overall I’d say it was easier to follow as it had less diverging paths. No blowdowns along it that I recall. |
||I think they’re allowed at Hampden Memorial Park? I don’t actually recall… I might be wary of bringing them on Algonquin just because the gate was locked so you’ve got to go on their porch to access the trail… |
||I used 30% DEET at the start but not sure it was really necessary as they weren’t very bothersome even when I stopped. |
|Lost and Found:
||A good deal of trash on Goat Rock unfortunately. ||
||Let the Massachusetts Redlining begin :D A weekend getaway with the parents seemed to provide a good opportunity…|
Hampden Memorial Park was popping presumably due to the long weekend. I think there may have been a baseball game or some sort of event as well. Once on the trails, I only saw a handful of people though. The trails are very well travelled and there’s a lot of unmarked paths going this way and that so it can be a bit confusing. Avoid the left-hand turn right at the very start. The left you want is a ways further up. That jct is signed correctly with West Brook Trail clearly continuing ahead and Goat Rock Trail clearly turning left.
This next jct at 0.7mi was confusing because a sign pointed ahead toward Goat Rock even though the guidebook clearly says to go left AND the trail kiosk says Goat Rock Trail is blazed in white and yet the trail ahead is blazed in blue. I think the sign just meant that Goat Rock is also in that direction not that that IS Goat Rock Trail if that makes any sense. In any case, take the left toward what the sign calls “Overlook”. From here on, esp ially I think, but also down lower, there are a number of divergent roads and paths and the trails often turn on/off of them. It’s pretty well blazed and double blazes not only alert you to a turn but even to the direction of the turn (!) but you still need to pay attention.
The trail and roads are generally not too steep but sometimes rough and eroded and occasionally with the steeper pitch. They were very dry and had some spots with a lot of slippery, dry leaves, especially descending down the steeper side from Goat Rock to Country Club Drive. Several outlooks but nothing I’d call a mountain view as everything around are just hills, lol. Certainly not what I’m used to.
Goat Rock is reached via a short spur. Return to the spur and continue left to descend to Country Club Drive. I then walked to the VFW and did an OAB on the Algonquin Trail. Steeper at the beginning and end, but only moderately so, and it’s actually quite gentle in its middle section so I felt the guidebook exaggerated this one a bit. Note that there’s a gate at the bridge that was locked (presumably, based on signs) to keep wheeled vehicles off) so you’ve got to walk around on their porch to access the trail but I don’t think they mind this. Someone was friendly with me as I was leaving. View from the summit was similar to that Goat Rock and Wilbraham. I descended to the pipeline clearing as it’s needed for redlining. No pipeline there but it’s obvious when you get there. Another small view here. I returned to the summit and headed down. The trails were very dry.
Gaia had me at 5.25mi, 1110ft of gain, 2hr15min.
||Liam Cooney |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.