Exploring Cathedral of the Pines

I love when I get to explore new trails in the Monadnock Region.  A friend recently told me about the hiking trails at the Cathedral of the Pines located at 10 Hale Hill Road in Rindge, New Hampshire.  I have been there a couple times, but never on the hiking trails.  This morning I did an impromptu hike with my Hike Like a Woman Hiking Group, to check out the trails.  We parked in the parking lot and when looking at the cathedral, the trailheads are located down a small hill to the left.  From there are a few trails you can access.  To the right is Grassy Pond and Stearns Upton Family Trail near Grassy Pond.  To the left is the Podunk and Shaw Loop near Emerson Pond.  

 Grassy Pond 

Grassy Pond 

We started our hike by heading towards Grassy Pond with the goal to go around the Stearns Upton loop, but some how I missed the trail to the Stearns Upton Loop and we ended up at the outdoor cathedral.  Just proof that hiking never goes as planned. After enjoying the views we decided to check out the Podunk Trail that goes through the woods and along Emerson Pond.  This trail was a lot easier to follow.   We were all laughing because we encountered various kinds of trail conditions of ice, snow, mud, water, the heat of the sun and the trail being dry all in February.  If you decide to hike when there has been some melting wear waterproof boots as your feet could get wet.  

 Emerson Pond 

Emerson Pond 

Today we did about three miles, but I am excited to go back and explore the trails more.  The trails meander up and down some hill, nothing too steep.  The Grassy Pond Trail is a great one for kids.  There are benches in various places.  Foot bridges help avoid some wet areas. Overall this is a great trail for beginner hikers or families. 

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