Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Escape from New York: Weekend in the Country

They didn't look but we enjoyed the view from Mt. Holyoke
After spending the holiday weekend in New York City, we are plotting our next weekend getaway. Not that I don't love a NYC 4th of July; in fact, holiday weekends, when you live in NY, are best spent at home, enjoying the relatively quiet beaches, tons of parking, empty restaurants and lack of traffic.

Last time I had a car to test out, we drove up to Northampton, MA for a weekend of hiking. There are plenty of trailheads nearby where you can park for free and enjoy a day in the woods.

We headed to Mt Holyoke, where the Summit Hotel once welcomed guests. The hotel is closed, though it still has rocking chairs on the porch where you can enjoy the expansive view (park rangers also set up a telescope). What it did not have, when we hiked there, was running water, though it is supposed to be available Memorial Day though Labor Day. There are always porta-Johns, but be sure to bring plenty of drinking water when you hike just in case there is no water.

At the summit
There are several different trails here, none particularly rigorous, but all leading to the almost 1,000 foot summit. You are rewarded there not only with the view but also with picnic tables where you can have lunch.

Ducks swimming in the stream at Smith College
You can also spend a day wandering around downtown Northampton, which is filled with vegetarian restaurants, cafes and boutiques. From downtown, walk over to Smith College, which has miles of wood trails, and a stream where dogs can cool off. We also saw families of ducks swimming around and lots of flat stones for skipping across the water.

Enjoying the sunset from the car on the way back to NY. The traffic, not so much.
Note: GM loaned me a Buick Regal. I was not compensated for this post.

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