Saturday, November 30, 2013

Urban Aspects.Quincy MA The Neponset River at Squantum Point.

If the Charles River and its grand Esplanade might be thought of as Boston's front porch, then the Neponset River might be seen as its enchanting back yard.

Unlike the Mystic and Charles, with their impoundments located at the river mouths, the damming of the Neponset happens a bit further upstream so it has a fairly extensive section in sync with tidewater rhythms.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail Medfield MA Noon Hill.

I spent a good part of autumn climbing the local Bay Circuit hills like a form of midget peak bagging. And, just as when I used to climb 3000 plus foot things up north, I'm indifferent to such practices  I haul my carcass up a mountain for a view.

That is what Noon Hill has. It is a good one. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail Medfield MA The Shattuck Reservation.

The Shattuck Reservation lies along the Charles River in Medfield and is part of a suite of outstanding parcels owned by the Trustees of Reservations to protect the upper river.

It's the lowland counterpart to Noon Hill and was the beneficiary of a brand new Bay Circuit Trail reroute this summer.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail Lincoln MA. Walden Woods to Farrar Pond.

The Bay Circuit Trail enters Lincoln from the north in Walden Woods and exits via Wayland.

The essential quality and character of this town would probably be recognizable to its erstwhile roamer, Thoreau, today, beyond a few baffling new things.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail : Southborough MA The Sudbury Reservoir.

The Sudbury Reservoir has an interesting situation. It was a system made in the 1870s to quench Bostons thirst and wash it after earlier attempts wouldn't scale.

And when that failed, it was necessary to drown several towns in the center of the state to make the Quabbin, but I digress.

Bay Circuit Trail Andover MA Conservation Commission Woodland.

The third parcel one passes through between the Harold Parker State Forest and the Ward Reservation is one of those quasi nameless places that often turn out to be among the best places along the trail.

According to the Holy Writ, (also known as the trail directions), this parcel is simply the Andover Conservation Commission Woodland. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail: Andover MA Skug River Reservation..

There are some Bay Circuit communities that serve as activity hubs in their particular corner of the system. They are fully engaged in robust open space enhancement work and act as best practices benchmark locations.

And, of these, Andover is a place to revisit again and again. And of its places, the Skug River Reservation is particularly rewarding with a compelling convergence of history and nature.

Bay Circuit Trail: Walpole MA The Wonder That is Mine Brook.

While the Bay Circuit Trail has many well defined places under the jurisdiction of the best open space advocates in the region, it also has these fascinating, nearly nameless places where even figuring out the jurisdiction takes a bit of digging.

The Mine Brook section would be one of these. It is essentially a wetland protection buffer for the Walpole water supply. A run of eskers, almost in a skein, makes a dogleg with a short southerly bit bending to a longer easterly one. The trail begins its easterly run to Duxbury in a stepwise fashion.

It is also a headwater of the Neponset River watershed.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail: Rowley MA The Rural Rowley Role.

Rowley has a smaller population than its counterparts to the north and south and it has evinced a bit less enthusiasm for the Bay Circuit Trail than might be hoped.

When I visited on a crisp and bright September day on the heels of a newborn Autumn, I was intercepted by a stern but gracious town law officer, who evidently got a call from some other inhabitant about the suspicions spun of me wandering with a camera. 

I waved my print out Bay Circuit crap map kit at him and he scoffed... "Bay Circuit... never heard of it..." while probably weighing my hazard value on whatever scale they use. It was pretty funny considering I was standing on it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail: Newbury MA The Road to Rowley

Many great basic day hikes for the Bay Circuit Trail are adapted to commuter rail and the southward course of the trail at Joppa Flats works well with the locations of the Newburyport and Rowley stations.

The trail soon meets the Spencer Peirce Little farmhouse, one of the Commonwealth's oldest structures and a fairly unique one in its design.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bay Circuit Trail: At the Plum Island Beginning, Newbury MA.

The Plum Island trail head in the North at Newbury, Massachusetts is a perfect contrast to its counterpart in Duxbury down South.

The latter is a quiet and sheltered salt marsh cove while Plum Island is one of the more exposed and pounded stretches of strand along the whole Commonwealth coast.