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.

It took me half of the year to really get to the place after it was pummeled in a March storm that undermined a batch of precariously perched uber shacks up on the fore dune.

Such sitings are increasingly being added to a growing list of dumb and uninsurable places to stick a structure, right alongside flood plains and fault lines.

And strange movements of beach sand are underway despite all manner of interventions. The sand is heading south to clog the inlet north of Cranes, further hollowing out the already battered dune.

No matter how the human settlement mess shakes out, this stunning barrier Island will continue to be a natural wonder of the Commonwealth world with much of it under the protection of the National Wildlife Refuge system as its Parker River unit.

You just follow the Plum Island Turnpike out, essentially a "sidewalk traverse", but it is well worth it despite the manic mid day motoring that occupies it.

It is part of the Great Marsh system cradled by an inner edge of granite and upland with several coastal river basins.

And for those seeking a sense of the New England coastal Yankee form of Americana, there is surely plenty. 

There is an airport and a run of distinct structures rising slightly over the far stretched marsh lands.

The Joppa Flats Education Center, a gift to the community the from Massachusetts Audubon Society, indicates the spot where the trail runs inland at the northwest edge of the aerodrome.

From there, it crosses through the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm .