A few nights ago we followed a yellow brick road of fallen leaves along a trail in the Great Mountain Forest. It was early evening, about an hour and a half before sunset.
Just a couple of miles from the Manor House more than 6,000 acres of woodlands have been preserved here in the forest for wildlife and future generations to enjoy. This particular evening we set off down Lookout Point, following the red markers on the trees.
At times we lost sight of those red slashes but a random cairn let us know we are on the right path.
Nature does her thing here in the forest with very little interference from mankind. Moss covers old stone walls. Trees fall, exposing their ancient roots. Fallen leaves turn to compost, helping the soil retain moisture even when there is a lack of rain.
We were in search of the view of Tobey Pond. Late day sunlight filtered through the trees and clouds pushed by the wind drifted across the still blue sky.
For a moment I worried about darkness descending. I thought we were lost but Rich, with his far better internal compass, assured me we were on the right trail. And he was right, for there it was, over the next hill. Tobey Pond, hanging on to the last bits of daylight, at the end of the looping trail, not far from where we started our hike.
We sat on a fallen log and listened to the sounds of silence.
Across the pond is a view of Haystack Mountain where you will find more hiking trails.
If you visit the Manor House in winter, many of these trails are also open for cross country skiing and snoeshoeing.