Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bay Circuit Trail: Ancient Framingham Crossroads.

The Bay Circuit Trail enters north Framingham along the Sudbury edge near the height of land for the entire trail, Nobscot Hill. Garden in the Woods, lies a bit to the southeast.

The trailhead begins at Weissblatt Conservation Land and passes south through the Boy Scout Reservation and Wittenborg Woods. This part of the town is also home to a number of farms.

Callahan State Park is the next major area along the trail before it passes into Marlborough to follow the Sudbury Reservoir.

The Commonwealth's  park system here and elsewhere is particularly well suited for mountain bikes...

... and dog walks.

I first encountered Rattlesnake Plantain in some corner of that park back in the 80s drawn by the silvery variegation lacing its leaves in the shadow dappled understory.

From there, the trail heads south to reenter Framingham briefly where it crosses the Sudbury River below the dam and then passes over Route 9 before turning toward Ashland.

One of the earliest trade trails sleeps beneath a section of route 9. The Old Connecticut Path indicated an area for confluence and exchange.

And now it is a rail junction of some complexity with Amtrack, Conrail and Commuter rail all converging.

Note For the Urban Carless. The Ashland stop is fairly close to the trail where it runs to the west of Framingham. It is a fairly vast area so plan on an entire day should you choose a commuter rail option.