Wilderness Heals

Thank you for visiting the Wilderness Heals blog. Wilderness Heals is an all-women, three-day annual pledge hike that benefits the Elizabeth Stone House (ESH), a Boston-based emergency shelter, transitional housing program, and therapeutic community that provides services to women and children who are escaping violence and overcoming trauma. By encouraging hikers to set challenging physical, emotional, and financial goals, Wilderness Heals mirrors the experiences of hundreds of women who have sought help from the Stone House. Committing to hike is a way to grow personally while simultaneously standing in solidarity with women of the Stone House and women everywhere who are working to overcome the effects of violence in their lives.
Wilderness Heals 2011 will take place July 15-17, 2011. Registration materials may be downloaded here.
Go here to view the 2011 routes, and visit our Who's Who page to meet this year's team leaders and Recruitment Committee members.
Want to learn more? Visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions? Contact Erika Whyte, Wilderness Heals event coordinator, at 781-726-0551 or ewhyte@elizabethstone.org.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Celebrate Spring Thaw with a Recruitment Hike

It's time to break out the boots and break some trail!

Throughout the spring, members of the Wilderness Heals Recruitment Committee will be hosting recruitment hikes throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. These hikes are open to everyone — participants do not need to be registered Wilderness Heals hikers.

Come if you want to jumpstart your training, meet other hikers, or learn more about the three-day event. Bring a friend, bring some snacks, and enjoy a walk in the woods!

Saturday, April 2, at Franklin Park, Boston

Meeting time: 2 p.m.
Meeting place: Shattuck Picnic Grove Area, across from Shattuck Hospital
Led by: Erika Whyte - (781) 726-0551 and Karin Downs - (617) 833-2911

Hiking route: The loop follows Circuit Drive around the golf course. A good place to start is at the Golf Clubhouse or along the park maintenance road in front of the Shattuck Hospital by the picnic area and tennis courts. There are a few forks in the path, but all eventually bring you around the golf course again. Highlights as you walk include the arched stone bridge over Scarboro Pond, a popular birding site, Mother‘s Rest sitting area just down from the Golf Clubhouse with views across a sweeping landscape, and the mature European beech grove. Taking unmarked paths is perfectly safe and you‘ll chance upon Schoolmaster Hill, the plateau on top of Scarboro Hill, or an old tree stump carved into a chair.

Visit the Franklin Park Web site for directions.

Sunday, April 3, Borderland State Park, Easton, Mass.

Meeting time: 10 a.m.
Meeting place: Park Office
Led by: Victoria Sandbrook - (508) 930-2314

Directions: From the north, take Route 128 south to I-95 south (toward Providence). Take Exit 10 (Sharon, Walpole, and Coney Street). Take a left at the end of the ramp and follow two or three miles to the traffic light in Sharon Center. Go straight through the intersection and immediately bear right onto Pond Street. Follow Pond Street for one and a half miles until you come to a traffic rotary. Go half way around the rotary and continue onto Massapoag Avenue for three miles to the park entrance, on your left.

From Boston, take the southeast expressway south to Route 128 north and then to I-95 south. Follow directions from above.

From the west, take the Mass Pike to I-495 south to Exit 10 (Easton and Route 123). Take a left at the end of the ramp and follow Route 123 east toward Easton. Route 123 will merge with Route 106 east. After this merge look for the brown "Borderland" sign, on the left about a half a mile from the merge. Take this left onto Poquanticut Avenue. After about a mile the road will fork; bear to the left onto Massapoag Avenue and follow signs to the park, approximately another two miles. Entrance will be on your right.

From the east (Brockton), take Route 24 north to Exit 17B (Easton). Follow Route 123 west to the intersection of Route 138. Take a right onto Route 138 north and follow to the second set of traffic lights. Take a left onto Main Street and continue about one mile into the center of North Easton. In the center the road will fork; continue straight up the hill to Lincoln Street and follow to the end, about two miles. Take a right onto Bay Road, then an immediate left onto Allen Road. Follow Allen Road to its end, about one and a half miles. Take a right onto Rockland Street and follow for just under a mile to a four-way stop sign. Take a right onto Massapoag Avenue; the park entrance will be one mile on your right.

From the south (Fall River), take Route 24 north to Exit 16 (Route 106 west and Mansfield). Follow Route 106 west through four sets of traffic lights. Go through the fourth light, which will be the intersection of Route 123 and Route 106. Continue west on Routes 123 and 106 for half a mile. Turn right onto Poquanticut Avenue Follow the signs to the park, approximately three miles.

From the south (Providence), take I-95 north to exit 7A (Mansfield and Route 140 south). Take Route 140 south to the intersection of Route 106 east. Follow Route 106 into Easton. Route 106 will merge with Route 123. Continue half a mile after the merge and turn left at the brown Borderland sign onto Poquanticut Avenue. Follow Poquanticut Avenue and bear left onto Massapoag Avenue to the park, which will be on your right, approximately three miles from the turn at Routes 106 and 123.

Saturday, April 16, Middlesex Fells, Skyline Trail, Medford, Mass.

Meeting time: 10 a.m.
Meeting place: Bellevue Pond
Led by: Karin Downs - (617) 833-2911 and Danna Steinberg
Trail distance: 7 miles
Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours

Trail Description: From the parking lot, take the main trail, leaving Bellevue Pond on your left. Watch for white blazes a few yards after the pond on your right. They will lead to Pine Hill, where an observation tower offers spectacular views to Boston. From the tower, head north, following the blazes on the rocks to complete the hike. This hike, which loops the western side of the Fells, has some steep ascents.

Directions: From Boston, take I-93 north to Exit 33 for Middlesex Fells. Take the roundabout halfway to the first exit on the right (sharp turn). The parking lot is about a quarter of a mile on the right.

Sunday, April 17, Wachusett Mountain, Princeton, Mass.

Meeting time: 10 a.m.
Meeting place: Visitors Center
Led by: Victoria Sandbrook - (508) 930-2314

Visit the Wachusett Mountain Web site for directions.

Saturday, April 23, Blue Hills, Milton, Mass.

Meeting time: 10 a.m.
Meeting place: Parking lot across from the Reservation Headquarters, at 695 Hillside St. in Milton, beside the police station. Call (617) 698-1802 for park information.
Led by: Karin Downs - (617) 833-2911 and Erika Whyte - (781) 726-0551

Directions by car: Take I-93 to Exit 3. Turn right at the stop sign onto Hillside Street. Houghton's Pond is located approximately a quarter of a mile on the right. Continue a quarter of a mile to the Reservation Headquarters on the left.

Directions by MBTA: Take the Red Line to Ashmont Station. From Ashmont, take the high-speed line to Mattapan. The Canton and Blue Hills Bus services the Trailside Museum and Great Blue Hill on Route 138. For the Houghton's Pond area, exit the bus at Blue Hill River Road. Cross the road and walk one mile east on Hillside Street.

Saturday, April 30, Mount Major, West Alton, NH

Please note: because this recruitment hike is in the Whites (or near them rather), you will be required to have some basic hiking and safety gear. Also, you must inform one of the hike leaders that you are planning to join the hike. See below for a list of required gear.

Meeting time: 10 a.m.
Led by: Karin Downs - (617) 833-2911 and Danna Steinberg

Approximate driving time from Boston: 2.25 hours
Rating: Easier
Distance: 3 miles
Highest Elevation: 1,784 feet
Elevation Gain: 1,180 feet
Approximate duration: 3 hours

Hiking route: Take the obvious road that leaves from the right side of the parking lot as you face the mountain. There are blue blazes on the road. Almost within sight of the parking lot, the road forks. After the two rejoin, the blue blazes and the main trail turn left at another junction about .8 miles from the parking lot. The road becomes a footpath, often with several branches which usually rejoin. The trail climbs over a small knoll then steeply up the rocks to the summit. The distance from parking lot is 1.8 miles. On the return, look for blue blazes dropping off to the northeast.

Directions: Take I-93 north to Exit 9 (Route 3 north and Route 28 north) toward Hooksett. When Route 3 and Route 28 split, follow Route 28 north. When you come to the intersection with Route 11, take Route 11 north. Follow for about four miles north of Alton Bay until you reach the trailhead on the left.

Required Gear:
Day pack
Emergency whistle
Snack and lunch for hike
64 ounces of water
Waterproof rain jacket
Fleece or wool hat
Insulating fleece/wool sweater (no cotton)
1 polypro/nylon T-shirt (no cotton)
1 pair of polypro/nylon quick dry shorts or zip-away pants (no cotton or jeans)
Sunscreen and bug spray

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