Hike Trustees Challenge Winner Offers Tips

Is your goal is to get to all of the Trustees properties this coming year?

Pat McDougal visiting her 118th property

Happy New Year 2022 Hikers! I’ve heard many of you say that your goal is to get to all of the Trustees properties this coming year and I’d like to offer some suggestions if I may since I was able to do that this year.

First off, I loved every minute of the challenge of it. Not just discovering new and beautiful places but the strategic preparation and also traveling to parts of MA I have never been to before. I learned that I love hiking alone but many friends jumped on with me for some of the adventures which made it all the more fun.

My husband, Doug McDougal, who was not doing the Challenge, graciously indulged me and came along on many of my adventures. In May, for instance, we stayed at the Guest House at Field Farm with the Trustees promotion and did 14 properties to and from the Berkshires in 4 days starting with The Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag (get tickets in advance). It was a great getaway. (He took a nap in the car while I hiked Mountain Meadow Preserve!)

I strongly suggest you make reservations to take the boat to Misery Island early in the summer (we almost missed the last boat out!). We also took a great Trustees led Kayak and Hike to beautiful Choate Island which you also have to schedule in advance.

We had an inflatable double kayak to do Bridge Island Meadows down Bogastow Brook which is not easy to find. What an experience that was! I believe others have found alternate ways in by foot but you won’t see the iconic “T” sign which was always a thrill to see when getting to a property.

And finally, there are some areas where you won’t have internet so no GPS. I learned that the hard way! You may want to download your route before you go or at least the first few directions until you reach civilization!

Enjoy the adventure and experience and don’t rush through the properties. Take some deep breathes when you reach a peak, bring snacks, and drink water! Buy mosquito head netting and wear sunscreen! Spend time on the properties you can and happy hiking! Good luck friends. You got this!

Pat hits 1,000 miles in 2021

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