HUNTINGTON – Western Mass Hilltown Hikers is teaming up with Friends of the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center (SHAEC) for a first-time group hike of the glacial lake woods in peak fall foliage, beginning at the Retreat at Norwich Lake on Oct. 19 at 10 a.m.
The hike will celebrate SHAEC’s 20 years of free adult education in the hilltowns. Information on upcoming classes may be found at www.shaec.org. Donations will be accepted the day of the hike, or in advance at www.shaec.org. Prizes will be awarded to the highest donors.
With 97 acres of forest, trails, lake access and even horses, the Retreat at Norwich Lake has a lot to explore. The hike, which is rated easy with some slopes, rocks and roots, has two options; one, blue-blazed, through the forest, with an easy sloping rocky walk to the lake. The other, orange-blazed, is a two-mile old Norwich Village forest trip, where there are old foundations, cellar holes, stones walls and two dams looping back down to the lake.
The Retreat at Norwich Lake is a Timothy Hill Retreat Center (see timothyhill.org), that offers year-round overnight accommodations for up to 40, but also rents to individuals and families wishing to relax, refresh and restore themselves. It is a place to connect with creation, and others. There is full water front access complete with boats and fishing equipment, sports fields and 90 acres of woods with several hiking trails. Horses are on property from March to October.
The Retreat is at 128 Norwich Lake in Huntington. Turn off Route 66 to Searle Road. When you get to the fork, approximately 1.7 miles, turn right onto Rocky Point Road. Destination will be on the left in approximately 7/10th of a mile. There is plenty of parking.
Plan for two hours of hiking. Maps and bottled water will be available. Please be aware there are no facilities on the trail. Dogs are welcome! No registration is required, and the hike is free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, email [email protected]
The Western Mass Hilltown Hikers are dedicated to enjoying and preserving the natural beauty of the hilltowns. For more information on upcoming hikes, go to wwww.westernmasshilltownhikers.com.