June 02, 2019
Beautiful, Quiet Area
I hiked in this area on 6-1-19, and besides the Hutchinson Trail and the Munsee-Eagle Trail, I did the McKeags Meadow and Red Back trails. I started my hike from the parking area on South Gate Rd. The ascents/descents are numerous, but not steep, and I didn't find them overly strenuous. There are no "views" per se, with the exception of ME trail when it passes the power line on the southern side. Mostly quiet, peaceful hiking through the forest. The Red Back and McKeags Meadow trails are very wet in many places and without waterproof boots, you can count on your feet getting wet. The Hutchinson and ME trails are in amazing condition due to all the work done in recent years. These trails were not crowded at all, I spent most of the day hiking in solitude, and only saw a few bike riders here and there. Overall, an enjoyable hike, although I'm not sure it's an area I would return to very often. It is nice when you want to avoid crowds. One suggestion is that the bike trails should be marked one way for the bike riders, as they are way too narrow in a lot of places for people passing in opposite directions.
May 05, 2019
best kept secret (shhh!) in Sterling Forest
the Hutchinson trail is perfect for hikers who cannot do hills. What makes this trail also great is the options. One can trail run from the start, and do a lollipop loop with the Red Back trail. One can also birdwatch in the mornings and evenings (best time is during the week). The best trails for this would be to take Hutchinson trail to redback where it takes a right downhill over the brook to the McKeag's Meadow trail. If you go straight ahead on the Red Back trail, you've gone the wrong way. This is a great walk/hike for discovering wildflowers and wildlife. This is off the beaten path. Good place to practice nature photography and check out vernal pools and bogs. If you go off Hutchinson, though, you will most likely need gaiters and ankle support, as there are rocks and tree roots. Wear bug protection as well--either a head net, or spray.
October 25, 2018
great hike. good diversity of trails.
First of all, thank you to all the volunteers for such great work on the stepping stones and rock work done along the hike. this hike, while not too strenuous, is a nice alternative to bustling places full of people. this is well off the beaten track. While the trails are mainly single track cycling trails that are serpentine in nature, there are many parts of the hike where one can trail run. I did this hike in two hours and fifteen minutes by fast walking and trail running. This is a very good circuit hike that has plenty of dirt parts with little to no rocks, so it is better for trail running than a lot of other trails in Sterling Forest. While there isn't much elevation gain, the rock slabs , boulders, and an abandoned mine shaft make it a worth while hike. This might be a good snowshoe hike in Wintertime.