We really needed to get out in the woods but kept reading how crowded some of the close-in mountain hikes were, and we didn't want to add risk by going into a snowy area, so we opted to visit one of our local trails. I had new trail runners and a little pack to test out as well. I know Lord Hill can be busy on Saturday regardless of the current push of people going outside, but I also know the trail network is large and spread out.
The parking lot was almost overfull when we arrived around 2:15 pm. Cars were parked down to the gate. We found a recently vacated spot in the lot and parked. My husband needed to use the facilities (we brought hand sanitizer, yay) and reported that the porta potties were pretty full and a little messy.
The first 0.3 miles has a wide enough trail to give others space, which is good because that's a bit of a bottle neck for people. There was still plenty of room for groups to spread out though. After the boardwalks, everyone was very spread out and we would go 5-10 min without seeing anyone else (and sometimes they were far off). There was some litter on the trail but not any more than usual.
I've included the map below, but we took the Boardwalk trail out from the parking lot, then took a left onto the Beaver Lake Trail, which we followed to the Pipeline. A ways up the Pipeline trail, we took a left onto the Temple Pond Loop, which we hadn't done yet. Its a pretty trail, but there are a lot of intersections. We followed it onto the Red Barn Loop (some of this was pretty muddy), then went down the the Beaver Marsh Lake, onto the East Beaver Lake trail, then rejoined the Pipeline Trail.
Took Pipeline BACK up the hill, but took a right onto Pipeline Cutoff, which led us to the Main Trail. We followed the road for awhile, intending to go to the river. We checked the intersection map, and passed the River Trail Cutoff on purpose to add distance. The next split had a sign for the River Trail so we headed down to check it out.
The River Trail and River Trail Cutoff is pretty. There is one tree down, but it can be circumvented or gone under. There are a lot of stinging nettles growing along here.
The river had a few groups hanging out but it wasn't crowded and groups were maintaining social distancing as far as I could tell. After cooling off, we climbed back up to the Main Trail. When we reached the map again, we headed right to follow Main Trail 3 to Crossroads Pond and the Pipeline. This section was pretty wet and muddy.
We turned left onto Pipeline to head back, this hill was KILLER for me. Its pretty steep and goes on forever. We followed Pipeline all the way back down to the Beaver Lake cutoff by the bridge, and went back the way we came in.
There were still quite a few people but the parking lot had spots open by this time. Totaled 7.4 miles, 1300 feet of gain, and 2 hr 15 min (walked pretty much all of the hill heh).