Hiking group in its 34th year and still going strong

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RUMFORD — Even the thunder rumbling in the distance and a threat of more rain did not stop more than a dozen hikers Wednesday evening from tackling Dunn Falls in Andover.

The hikers are part of the Peak-A-Week hiking club, which is in its 34th year, and most are from Rumford or nearby communities. Many meet up at the Information Center parking lot in Rumford at 5 p.m. to carpool with other hikers to their mountain destinations. Anyone who likes to hike is invited to join them. All levels of hikers are welcome.

This week, Kathy McKenna and her father, Jim Thomas, 86, were among the hikers. Thomas has been hiking regularly with the group for about 25 years.

Although some hikers did not make it to the top of the Dunn Falls hike because of the wet, possibly slippery rocks, Thomas was with the group that did.

“I always go to the top of the mountains,” he said, “but they keep growing.”

Hiker Sarah Broughton said she loves hiking in the rain and the smell of the woods. She always stops to find mushrooms, edible weeds and any other plants or things growing on trees that catch her eye, she said. She and McKenna participate in herbal workshops and nature walks in Andover to learn about medicinal herbs.

Crossing the river on the way down, Rumford optometrist Will Keyes and his dog, Trixie, worked their way across a tricky section of flowing water and rocks. While making his way across, Keyes helped a fellow hiker by offering his hand and even gave her a ride on his back to the riverbank.

Hiker Rick Nerot jumped into some of the larger waterfalls along the hike, and later said he “can’t pass up a swimming hole” when hiking. And first-year Peak-a-Week hiker Rosanna Young took plenty of photos of the falls and selfies with the falls in the background. Young said she joined the group because she wanted to hike and meet new people.

Lee Crawford, one of the group’s regular hikers for years now, said the Dunn Falls hike is one of his favorites, along with Tumbledown and White Cap in Grafton Notch, while Chris Bourgeois likes the challenge of Old Spec, an 8- to 14-hour hike.

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Peak-A-Week Club –Schedule of Events– 2018. Here’s our usual half year of Wednesday afternoon hikes. Pass this on to your friends who are hikers at heart. All level of hikers are encouraged. Expect snow on the first few hikes. Bring snacks, water, and a flashlight. We’ll meet to carpool from the Information parking lot in Rumford at 5:00 pm, leaving at 5:15.

Wed. 4/11 Mexico Ledge (Mexico)

Wed. 4/18 Woodsman’s Peak (Hanover)

Wed. 4/25 Bear Mt. (Turner) 2 mi. to summit 1,208’

Wed. 5/2 Buck’s and Lapham Ledges (Woodstock) 2.1 mi.

Wed. 5/9 The Roost (Evans Notch) 2.4 mi. loop 1,374′

Wed. 5/16 Lookout Rock (South Arm Road) 1.5 mi. 800

Sat. 5/19 Whitecap Trail Maintenance Day Wed. 5/23 Table Rock (Grafton Notch) 2.4 mi. loop 900’

Wed. 5/30 Mt. Zircon (Rumford) 2.8 mi. to summit 2,240’

Sat. 6/2 National Trails Day – working on connector between yellow and red trails on Whitecap

Wed. 6/6 Bald Mt. (Oquossoc) 1 mi. to summit 2,443’

Wed. 6/13 Surplus Pond (East B Hill Road)

Wed. 6/20 Tumbledown (Weld) 1.5 mi. brook trail, 2 mi. 3,068’

Wed. 6/27 Long Mountain (Albany) 4.4 mi. round trip

Wed. 7/4 Fireworks

Wed. 7/11 Black Mt. (Rumford)

Wed. 7/18 Mt. Will (Bethel) 3.25 mi. 1,350’

Wed. 7/25 Dunn Falls (East B Hill Rd) .8 mi. to waterfalls

Wed. 8/1 Whitecap (Andover) 2 mi. to summit 2,197’

Wed. 8/8 Eyebrow Loop (Grafton Notch) 2.2 mi. loop 1,000’

Wed. 8/15 Bald Mt. (Weld) 1.5 mi. to summit 2,386’

Wed. 8/22 Black Mt. (Peru) 1.3 mi. to summit 2,133’

Wed. 8/29 Bald Mt. (Woodstock) 1.4 mi. to summit 1,692’

Wed. 9/5 Mt. Abram (Greenwood) 1.1 mi. to summit 1,960′

Wed. 9/12 Tumbledown Dick (Peru) 3.0 mi. 900’

Wed. 9/19 Glass Face (Rumford) 1,880′ Wed. 9/26 Morrills Ledge (Peru)

Wed. 10/3 River Walk (Bethel)

To find out more about the Peak-A-Week hiking club, visit the Facebook page or go to the Rumford Information Center at 5 p.m. Wednesdays from early April until the beginning of October.

The Peak-A-Week hiking club is in its 34th year and typically about 20 to 30 hikers join the group for its Wednesday hikes, which run from early April to the beginning of October. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times) 

One of many waterfalls at Dunn Falls in Andover. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

Hiker Rick Nerot swims Wednesday evening in a waterfall at Dunn Falls while taking a break from the trail with the Peak-A-Week hiking group from the Rumford area. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

Rumford optometrist Will Keyes hikes regularly with the Peak-A-Week hiking group. During Wednesday night’s hike, he helped a fellow hiker cross to the other side of the river. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

There are many beautiful waterfalls at Dunn Falls in Andover. The Peak-a-Week hiking club of the Rumford area hiked the trail Wednesday night. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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