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In Search of
The Skunk Ape
Very hilly rocky walk. About 1.5 miles round trip.
Bring your own black ink pad.
From route 195 in Mansfield Center, go west on Browns Road which runs up alongside the big white church at the intersection of routes 195 and route 89. Go about 1 mile to a Y intersection where Crane Hill Road comes onto Browns Road. Bear left here on Crane Hill Rd. Travel almost .2 mile to a pull off area on the right where you can park. Cross the street and follow the blue blazed Nipmuck trail. The trail starts by going over a stone wall near a Joshua’s Tract sign. Hike to a wooden staircase built to stop erosion and climb the steps following the blue trail up the hill. Shortly after climbing up the stairs you have to be alert so you don’t miss the turn. You have to take a right off the blue trail onto the yellow blazed trail. Follow the yellow blazed trail which goes downhill. Eventually the yellow trail comes to an intersection with the wide blue trail. Cross the blue trail and continue on the yellow trail. You will cross over a wet area. Keep going and the trail will pass through a pine tree grove. Leaving the grove, you pass over another wet area and start uphill. You will come to a waist – chest high boulder that touches the left side of the trail. A tree grows next to the rock and is so close the trunk shaped itself to the side of the boulder. Stop here and take a reading of 196 degrees. Walk 30 steps to a spot between 2 trees in front of a chest – neck high sloping rock. Stand in front of it between the two trees. Take a reading of 200 degrees and walk 14 steps to a much smaller rock. Stop here and take a reading of 200 degrees again. Walk 11 steps to a flat rock with another rock on top of it. Look here. Move two smaller rocks to find Chuck and Molly’s In Search of The Skunk Ape Letterbox. Stamp in and go back to the trail. Continue along the trail still following the yellow blazes. You will pass a chest high rock on the right that touches the trail. Soon the path goes alongside a stream. The trail will come to a T intersection of a dirt road. Bear left here still following the yellow blazes. You will come to a Y intersection. Bear right here with the yellow. You will quickly pass 2 huge glacial erratic boulders on the left. Keep following the long steep uphill trail. Be careful to stay on the trail. It is not well marked. Near the top of the hill, the trail comes to a T. Bear left with the yellow. Be careful of cliffs that will be off to your left. The trail turns into blue right near Wolf Rock. Wolf Rock is a large round boulder perched next to the edge of a rock cliff. Be careful near Wolf Rock. Follow the blue trail NW. This trail will take you back to where you entered.