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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Salmon River State Forest - Colchester, CT

Salmon River State Forest

If you have followed KW over the years, you know I have a dog with severe separation anxiety. Like jumping out of second-story windows, chewing windowsills, blow through screen-level separation anxiety. It is really stressful and usually results in me bringing my dog everywhere with me. Thankfully she has excellent car manners and is happy to hang in the car while I run into the grocery store, meet a friend for dinner, or run out for a bit. In the summer months, this is a much bigger challenge and between the fireworks, thunderstorms, and heat, we are struggling. I often leave her in the basement (which she has been destroying so I could give the rest of my destroyed house a break) or leave her in the running car (I carry two sets of keys to lock it). Needless to say, we've been struggling this summer and we needed a bit of a reset. We needed a family-friendly activity on a warm day where the dogs could play and I wouldn't be out worrying about someone breaking my car window while she lounged in the AC or Olive destroying the house. I did a bit of research on dog-friendly swimming spots in Connecticut and quickly found the Salmon River State Forest in Colchester. Dog-friendly, family-friendly, swimming, fly fishing, and a covered bridge - it's a Connecticut well kept secret I am sharing with you. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Loon Mountain (summer skyride) - Lincoln, New Hampshire

Loon Mountain Skyride

Visiting ski mountains in the summer has quickly become a new favorite when we travel around the Northeast. It's my new lazy summer activity - taking the gondola up mountains, walking around the tops, and taking them right back down. It's kind of like the reward of hiking to a summit to enjoy the views, minus the whole hiking up a mountain bit. Truthfully, it's a great family-friendly alternative to long summit hikes to take in a view. If you have a small babe, and are out and about with family/friends that do not enjoy your level of hiking, take a gondola or a lift, or even a tram to the summit and enjoy the views. 

It's a super "inclusive" activity and a lot of the lifts even allow dogs. Drawbacks? It can be a bit pricey, around $100 for a family of four. 

Loon Mountain Summer

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Lonesome Lake - White Mountains, New Hampshire

Lonesome Lake

New Hampshire is so damn dreamy. It's always suprising me with the vistas you have to earn, the European style huts placed in the middle of the woods, and lakes and ponds on top of the mountains. Lonesome Lake was one of those hikes that offers a big bang for your buck - a lot of lovely for minimal to moderate effort. I used to head to New Hampshire and tackle the bigger hikes, Franconia Ridge, backpacking the semi pemi loop and so on. But for now? An older dog and a baby in tow means our priorities have changed and now we spend a lot of time looking for those low effort high reward, family-friendly hikes. Lonesome Lake is just that. 

Lonesome Lake

You will not be lonely at Lonesome Lake because of it's easy to get to status. It's a quick 4-mile loop to a beautiful lake you can swim in. Dog-friendly, kid-friendly, swimming, a short distance (but a bit of a climb) will have some company but it's worth the crowds.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Weekender's Guide: Catskills, NY (Summer!)


The Catskills have become one of my favorite places and I never saw it coming. Meeting Adam who lived in Fairfield County (the insanely busy part of Connecticut that touches New York basically) sort of changed things, putting the Catskills that much closer.

In my Rhode Island Weekender's Guide, I talked about how Jamestown was like Newport in miniature. Well, the Catskills are that for the Adirondacks. The Catskills are a smaller less populated version and while you don't have the Adirondack High Peaks and famous lakes, you have some amazing hiking, stunning vistas and the scenic Esopus Creek. It's also a much easier drive as the Catskills are about 3.5 hours closer than the Adirondacks for us in coastal Connecticut, only 3ish hours from home. Adirondacks are beautiful but pretty far for just a weekend but the Catskills? You can leave on a Saturday morning if you wanted to avoid the traffic. The Catskills are a popular spot for city dwellers as it's also a 2 hour drive from New York City, making this the perfect weekend getaway for New Englanders and New Yorkers alike.