In the spirit of Halloween, we're taking you far off the beaten path to Satan's Kingdom in Northfield, MA. Yes, there really is a place named Satan's Kingdom in Massachusetts! But don't let the name of this unincorporated community scare you. Satan's Kingdom is a tranquil dog hike along an old logging road that is popular for ATVs and snowmobiles, and the occasional geocacher. However, please use caution if you do visit. There is an extensive network of unmarked trails here, making it easy to get lost, and cell service is poor at best, if available at all.
Consisting of over 1,305 acres and owned by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, this wildlife management area is a rugged steep hike through dense forest, open meadows, and wetlands on unmarked trails. According to Northfield Trails on the town's website, from the trailhead, stay right on the old logging road for 1.1 miles. At which point you will reach a "grassy area" on the left. To be honest, there are a lot of "grassy areas" with paths crisscrossing it, so we missed the correct turn-off and had to double back. From there, follow the steep trail, past an old abandoned cabin, until you reach the ridge with views of the valley below. This trail is approximately 3 miles.
Again, I have to be honest here, and admit we didn't make it to the scenic overlook. Although we visited during the summer at a time when it was not hunting season, target practice is allowed by written permission from the MDFW. On the day we visited, we met a group of people who were planning to do some target practicing in the area of the cabin. Therefore, we explored a different trail. Once in a quieter area, we did enjoy the tranquility of the hike, and marveled at the fragrant fields of wildflowers and the grouse foraging along the trail. Also I have to admit, we kept ourselves amused by "naming" the various natural landmarks we saw in honor of the trail's namesake!
Satan's Kingdom isn't for the average day hiker. But if you're looking to get away from the well worn trails, this area off the beaten path is worth a visit. Dogs are allowed, and we advise wearing blaze orange all year. Parking is available in a small dirt lot. Oh and Don't let Asa's frequent yawns in the video fool you. Although he was not impressed, we found Satan's Kingdom in Northfield, MA to be a very pleasant hike.