Nipmuck State Forest adventure

June 16, 2014.

15.5 mi | 800′ ele. gain | 5.8 hr

I was back on the East Coast visiting my family and got a day to spend outside with my dad. He chose Nipmuck State Park, where we had access to a large trail network not too far from home. He chose the route and we set off.

Connecticut is flat. We started cruising along at a staggeringly quick pace. We raced past stone walls, spring wildflowers and colored trail blazes.

Blazes. Those are markings rarely seen on the west coast. The colorful paint brought me back to the first hikes I’d ever done in New England. The first trails that captivated my attention and curiosity. It was so cool to be back in that environment, thinking back to those experiences that continued to shape my adventures today.

My dad had a couple of geocaches on his to-do list today so we took a little time to investigate some wooded areas to locate these treasure boxes.

Bright sunlight filtered down through the green tree leaves. The gentle trails occasionally gave way to bouldery sections requiring a little assistance from the hands. Fun stuff.

But the best part was being able to spend some quality time with dad. He’s the one who introduced me to the outdoors and inspired me to get out in nature throughout my childhood. I was so glad he still enjoyed getting out and putting lots of miles under his feet, and also that he was capable of doing so. He’s not a terribly old dude, but I know plenty of people younger than him who would not be able to come close to what he can do out there. I hope to maintain my physical abilities long into my older age as well!

I really enjoyed today’s hike. Outdoor physical activity is healing. Whether it’s the fresh air, sunshine, nature’s greenery or some combination of things, there’s little better to nourish the soul than a good walk in the woods.

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