Want to do something different? Want something exhilarating you can do with your family? Then consider hiking under a full moon. This is what I did on my local Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) hike this past week.
Regular chapter members and, in some cases, their spouses and children joined us. This time we met at Borderland State Park in No. Easton, Massachusetts. During the winter’s full moons, we plan to hike/walk at other scenic spots. I may suggest Wompatuck State Park, right here in town.
It was a beautiful night on Tuesday, October 11th, as we hiked around a large pond and through open meadows, with a full moon showing the way. We had headlamps in case the moon clouded over, but it remained clear, and we were able to see the gentle path before us.
Early on, we had seen a deer in the meadow. The beautiful animal fixed an eye on us, and we looked at the deer for a long minute, all under a full moon. I wished I could have taken a picture but it was too dark, and I didn’t have the right equipment.
We had split into two separate groups with different leaders to make it easy for everyone to stay together. There was chatter in our group, and there was also time for reflection. We were a content and happy bunch.
Once, our leader suggested we be absolutely quiet and still for several minutes. We did so and tried to listen to nature and drink up the sounds of night. Truthfully, we heard nothing as we all peered at the moon. I do believe we would have heard sounds of nature if we could have stilled a little longer.
It started to get cold, and we circled back to our starting point. Everyone enjoyed a pleasant evening and looked forward to the next full moon. Have any of you ever done something like this?
See you next time.
A few years ago John and I joined a Park Ranger-led group in Wompatuck State Park for a July night walk. There was no moon, but our eyes got used to the darkness. We stood still often and just listened to the scurrying animal sounds — and watched the bats overhead! It was great. Enjoyed reading about your night adventure and seeing the photos.
Thanks, Susan. Next time there’s a harvest moon, I’ll be out there for sure. PS Am taking a digital photography course at Nobles to improve photography.
Yes! exploring under a full moon is one of my favorite activities. I am glad to see someone else is enjoying that natural beauty as well. I backpacked the Grand Canyon last year during a full moon (see my blog for the story) and the nighttime was unbelievable. I also lead a canoe trip this summer where students canoed through the night the last evening… If you enjoyed hiking at night, try canoeing in the dark – I find I can take in much more because there is no sound of footsteps adding to the ambiance.
Thanks, Nathan. I’ve never canoed at night, but imagine it must be a gratifying experience.
Great article. I’ve done some snowshoeing by moonlight which was fantastic. Even with just a quarter moon with the light reflecting off the snow there was no need for headtorches and it was almost like daylight! Last winter Jupiter and Saturn where well placed to view while we snowshoed which was an added bonus. Looking forward to trying it again this winter.
Snowshoeing by moonlight is something I hadn’t thought of. I want to definitely try it. I imagine with snow to reflect the moonlight that it must be a magical experience. Thanks, Phil.