Hiking and Biking: 6 destinations
Ten Mile Hill, Kent. In the Litchfield Hills, the Appalachian Trail weaves through deep forests. Start at Bull’s Bridge Falls. From here, the trail rises above the water before descending to Ten Mile Gorge, where the Housatonic and Ten Mile rivers merge. From here, switchbacks climb steadily to the crest of Ten Mile Hill, where the westward view overlooks the Taconic Range, the Catskills, and the rolling farms in between. Allow 2 and one-half hours round trip (4 miles).
From the junction of Routes 341 and 7 in Kent, head 3 miles south on Route 7 and turn right onto Bull’s Bridge Road. Go through the covered bridge, past the parking lot on your right, and across another bridge, where you’ll find a small parking area on your left.
Maiden Cliff, Camden. Maine’s midcoast mountains reward hikers with views of the Atlantic and picturesque harbors. The Maiden Cliff trail strolls through hemlocks until a junction at the half-mile mark. Turn right onto Ridge Trail, and soon the ledges open up onto the waters of Megunticook Lake. Turn left at Scenic Trail and continue to the summit of Mt. Megunticook and on to Ocean Lookout, with views of the Penobscot Bay islands. Allow 2 hours.
From Camden, take Route 52 West, 3 miles from
the intersection of Route 1. Look for the small
parking area on the right-hand side of the road just before Route 52 borders the lake.
Roaring Brook/Stony Ledge, Lanesborough. Stony Ledge is a group of cliffs offering views of Mt. Greylock’s summit, tallest peak in Massachusetts, and the V-shaped wedge of trees on its slopes called the Hopper. Follow the right side of Roaring Brook, crossing the stream three times until the trail splits. Choose the less arduous Roaring Brook Trail. Climbing more than 1,000 feet through forest, you reach Sperry Road. Turn left and go through the campground to Stony Ledge. From the rocks, view the War Memorial atop Mt. Greylock and the Hopper’s velvety carpet of foliage. Allow 3 hours round trip; moderate to strenuous.
From Williamstown, follow Route 7 South past the Route 43 junction. Look for a small wooden sign on the left side of Route 7 for Roaring Brook Trail. Turn left and find the small parking lot on the left side of the road.
Crag Camp, Randolph. In the midst of 800,000 acres of national forest, our favorite White Mountains spot is this little-known shelter just below the summit of Mt. Adams in the northern Presidential range. Maintained by the Randolph Mountain Club, a trails and hiking organization founded in 1910, Crag Camp is a great self-service base for exploring the krummholz near the treeline and the alpine zone, as well as a place to simply sit back and enjoy the dramatic views (two stories of windows look out on King Ravine). Overnight fee: $12.
Go west on Rte. 2 from Randolph to the Appalachia trailhead and park. Take the Amphibrach Trail to the Spur Trail, which will take you to Crag Camp. randolphmountainclub.org
Arcadia Management Area, Exeter. Rhode Island’s largest public land, the 13,817-acre Arcadia Management Area, is a mecca for the state’s mountain bikers. More than 30-plus miles of single-track trails and less technical double tracks and dirt roads weave through the woods. Ride past streams and fishing holes, eventually making your way to the yellow-blazed trail along Breakheart Pond. Then get lost on a web of trails that branch off like spokes on a wheel. That’s the beauty of mountain biking in a place like Arcadia. Here, you’re free to wander with rarely another biker in sight — the only obstacle, the occasional horseback rider — all the while smelling the pines and listening to the birds. Allow 2-3 hours.
Take I-95 to Exit 5A onto Route 102 South. Go 1 mile and turn right onto Route 3 South, and right again at the blinking light onto Route 165 West; 3 miles later, you’ll see a sign for Arcadia Management Area. Turn right and park anywhere along this dirt road.
Sterling Pond, Stowe. This 1.3-mile hike on the Long Trail to the Sterling Pond shelter starts at Smuggler’s Notch, one of the most majestic sights in all of New England. Cross Route 108 and continue on the rock steps up the side of the ridge. The views get better with every steep step. At the top of the slope sits Sterling Pond. Follow the white blazes to reach the shelter, a small lean-to at the edge of the pond maintained for backpackers by the Green Mountain Club. Allow 2 hours.
Park at Smuggler’s Notch on Route 108, 10 miles north of Stowe, 8 miles south of Jeffersonville. greenmountainclub.org