A perfect after-Thanksgiving hike for those who want to walk a few miles off trail, sweat a little and get the feel of what Nonotuck would be like if there were no houses around—i.e., if it was wild:

because walking from the Westhampton Public Library over Mt Pisgah—i.e., the Berkshire ridges that divide the CT and Westfield river watersheds—will bring us through +/- three miles of houseless forest before we drop down into the equally houseless Dead Branch canyon and walk another +/- mile to Indian Hollow, and the Westfield River.

We'll walk from the lower left to the upper right; click pic for googlemap
We’ll walk from the lower left to the upper right; click pic for googlemap

This is a great hike for those who want to practice orienteering without a compass. We’ll use a map when we need to, but since we’re off trail, we’ll focus on geomorphic features (upland wetlands, cliffs, ravines) to keep us going in the right NW direction. We’ll always be placing ourselves, & never be lost. That’s where the great feeling of walking cross-country comes from, if you’ve never done it before.

IH fall essence

Logistics:
Start: we’ll meet Sat. Nov. 29 at the Westhampton Public Library at 10 am. Finish: our van will be waiting at Indian Hollow to shuttle us back whenever we get there, anytime from 2 to 4pm. Sunday 11/30 will be our rain date.

Dress for winter, in removable layers: comfortable boots, no cotton. Pack a pleasing lunch and snacks, plus at least a quart of water. Bring a cam.

—This a moderately difficult hike. We will stop whenever we want to, but our goal is to stay in momentum at a comfortable, consistent pace. We will hike about 4, or, if we want to go all the way to the Westfield, 5 miles with total altitude gains and losses of about 600 feet. There are sure to be short sections of bushwhacking, and we’ll cross the Dead Branch and probably get wet below the knees. (We’ll have a Red Cross certified 1st responder and 1st aid kit coming along with us.)

Cost:

This hyperhike is fundraising event to raise money for the Our Place Summercamp 2015 Scholarship fund.

We are asking participants to make a tax-deductible donation of $30 or more to assist us in reaching our goal of providing 24 scholarships this year. Our wandering band is limited to 10 participants, so our walk will generate at least 1 scholarship.

Last year 12 campers were awarded scholarships who otherwise would not have been able to explore with us the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck Biome. This year we will offer a Wings introductory level and a Sharpshins advanced level Our Place curricula, are hoping to award 12 scholarships to each level.

How to Register:

Please respond in the comments box, or give Kurt a call: 413.320.0522

Rhodes field
Our Place Summercamp is designed to “unplug” your child by bringing them into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures of the Nonotuck biome and the Westfield River watershed. For five six-hour days, we roam the valley and the hilltowns, investigating our natural and cultural history with all of our senses, and enjoying the whole-being stimulation of deep biotic immersion.