Interview by Diana Gomberg

Loraine Sumner is one the hundreds of enthusiastic participants in the 125-Mile Club!  To challenge yourself to explore all 125 miles of trails in the Blue Hills, learn more and sign up here.

Loraine reveals below what inspires her to hike… and the meaning she found in participating in the 125-Mile Club Challenge!

When did you first visit the Blue Hills and why? Loraine grew up next to the Blue Hills and fondly remembers swimming in the quarries behind Cunningham Park and exploring the park on cross-country skis at Ponkapoag Golf Course. Lorraine says “I’m an outdoor person and love fresh air. I used to travel to New Hampshire to hike and mountain climb.” 

Favorite part of hiking in the Blue Hills: Nature and peacefulness. You feel like you’re in another world. I’ve done a lot of traveling but I should take advantage of what’s in my own backyard. 

Favorite place to hike in the Blue Hills: Trail from Buck Hill that leads down to Unquity Road. Tucker Hill and Hancock Hill several times. The summit is nice. She also loves hiking in the quarries.

Participation in the 125-Mile Club: “When the pandemic hit, I read about the 125-Mile Club initiative and thought, that would get me outdoors.” She tried to get friends to join her but found no one willing to take on the Challenge. Undeterred, she hiked every mile by herself. Lorraine says that once she started, she just couldn’t stop. She wanted to get outside and reach her goal once she got going. Sometimes she would hike four or five hours a day to complete her goal. One weekend she went three days in a row by herself and covered 25-50 miles. She enjoyed hiking by herself.  There was no one to stop her and say they had enough.  Once she hit 100 miles, the remaining 25 miles were a “piece of cake.” After hiking in the Blue Hills, she says “I feel good. I sleep well.” Her daughter asked her, “Now what are you going to do?” Lorraine responded, “I’m never going to be done. I found something in my own backyard that I enjoy doing. The trails up there are wonderful.”

How would your life be different without the Blue Hills? 

“I would still be walking the unsafe sidewalks and streets!”