Monday, August 20, 2012

Bay Circuit Trail: Walpole to Sharon Commuter Rail Loop.

Old Sawmill Pond, Walpole Town Forest

The Bay Circuit Trail and the Neponset River watershed intertwine gloriously here where commuter rail enables one of the more outstanding hikes in the system.

I've come to agree with Colonel Powell that the watershed may well be the primary unit of geographic organization and will increasingly orient content along that bearing.

I initially planned to enter the hike from Sharon and take it to Walpole but I ended up switching to follow the alignment of the trail description

This worked really well as you start from the river basin areas of Walpole and gradually rise to Moose Hill in Sharon.

Along the Bluffs Trail, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

Another great facet of it is how the array of places along the route offer something for many diverse constituents. The extensive Town Forest tracts in Walpole work very well for trail running and biking while the more restricted portions in the Massachusetts Audubon Society lands are veritable area nature cathedrals.

The hike is generally relatively easy to follow and trail marking is particularly impeccable in Sharon, where the Warner Trail joins the Bay Circuit . I noticed that it shares a basic sandy soil matrix with Kingston on the coast suggesting the deposition patterns of relatively rapid glacial retreat that make an underpinning for the southern Bay Circuit's distinct array of ecotones.

The walk to the Sharon commuter rail station from Moose Hill is all down hill.

Courtesy Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation.

The Neponset Estuary is also well lined with reservations and tracts and is an outstanding easy day visit by subway. It provides a great sense of basic riparian continuity dating back to the 1600s.

Neponset Estuary at Granite St Bridge.

There is a plan underway to join these elements until the Neponset Trail eventually meets the Warner Trail.The Walpole commuter rail run gives a sense of the route. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Charles River Link Trail: Riverside T Station to Wellesley Hills.

This spoke trail is a close counterpart to Minuteman Bikeway in terms of easy public transportation proximity to great hike options.

It is a subtler thing, though. It's mainly a shanks mare adventure. Wellesley has an exceptional conservation land system

The northern trail head is a 20 minute walk from the Riverside T Station along Grove St. in Newton Lower Falls, a sub-village of Newton. The entrance is a charming footbridge

On the southerly bank lies Wellesley, a town invented by a banker during the gilded age at the end of the 19th century.

I followed it for a few miles and soon came to a single track segment through a floodplain forest along the Charles before it veers away from the river near Ouellet Playground.

From there, it is a fairly short street traverse before you reach the northern entrance to Wellesley Town Forest.

The forest is particularly well equipped with eskers. This array includes the tallest one I've run across yet at 160 feet.

From the southern end at the Longfellow Pond parking lot, it is a fairly short walk to the Wellesley Hills commuter rail station.

The Charles River Link Trail is an outstanding community effort and runs all the way to Medfield.

Longfellow Pond, Wellesley MA