A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Kite flying on Stony Top

October 24, 2015
Emilie Phillips

It was another beautiful fall day with a bit of breeze. I wanted to avoid the crowds, so we skipped all our usual hikes and went for a little used side trail to the Wapack trail.

Old rope tow engine

Old rope tow engine

While we hiked, Tyson tried to remember how he initially found the trail, but he never could. It starts on a dirt road at the Hampshire Country School. Then it follows a farm road off into the woods. The first part of the farm road still services horse fields off to the left. We passed an impressive old stone retaining wall or foundation. Farther up the hill, we came to the crumbling remnants of a tow rope shack powered by a 1960s era Ford Falcon. Off in the woods there was an even older car that must have previously powered the tow rope. There was no sign left of any ski runs.

Farther up, the farm road ended and the trail climbed steeper up the hill marked by yellow and white blazes. Tyson had not hiked the trail for almost 10 years, and it wasn’t well maintained then. So he was expecting it to be a bushwhack. But it appears someone is lightly maintaining it.

20151024-131023-071-Rindge-Wapack

At the top of the ridge, we turned north onto the Wapack trail toward Stony Top. We passed several open areas on the trail, but none of them quite big enough to fly the kite. Then we found a larger grassy hillside off the trail. Tyson flew the kite first. The wind was inconsistent. We would wait for a breeze to launch the kite. Once up above the tree line, the kite soared, its lines whistling. And then the breeze would die back and the kite float back to the ground. Tyson managed to land the kite in the grass almost every time. For me, the wind would slacken when I had the kite over the trees. We called it quits after I landed the kite in the top of a tree.

Back up on the trail, we hiked just a little bit farther to make sure we hadn’t missed a better clearing and then headed back to the car. I wished for hot soup after hiking in the chill air, so we ended the day at Harlow’s Pub in Peterborough.

Open street maps updated with the trail we hiked. And Wikipedia article on the conservation land owned by the Hampshire Country School.