The essential quality and character of this town would probably be recognizable to its erstwhile roamer, Thoreau, today, beyond a few baffling new things.
It makes reasonably extensive use of old Route 126. It is a perfectly excellent walk due to Lincoln's unusual devotion to sidewalks. And these are cut from the same cloth as the stone wall lined ways in Concord where tricorned farmers with muskets once lurked.
When the trail veers off through countryside, it does so through a stunning run of farm fields, forests, wetlands and meadow with a bit of the Sudbury River.
The forest segment skirts a hill named Mount Misery and as one enters the woods from the farm field, an array of items greets you to call attention to dog problem rules.
Lincoln has even gone to the expense of making dog specific trail blazes with an iconic indication to use a leash.
And yet I observed several pairs of middle aged women who were hilariously flagrant about ignoring the whole thing. This is an issue from Newbury to Duxbury and I could probably make a photo album of all the pooch admonishment signs I find.
In a nutshell, they seem to be the most problematic constituents among the various lifestyle outdoor activity enthusiasts. And it isn't the dogs fault.
Dogs are wonderfully earnest creatures that have repeatedly showed us for thousands of years how eager they are to do it right, whether "it" involves herding sheep, sniffing out things, or sitting in a boat near someone blasting a shotgun while ready to jump into ice water in an instant to fetch a shot duck and return it in the best possible condition.
One might be forgiven if one concludes that a pooch is not the sort of creature who will make much of a stink about a walk in the woods with a leash. It's always the humans and their strange infantile conceits.
Fortunately, the dog owner skirmishes seem to focus on that Mount Misery forest and when one heads off toward Farrar Pond, it's all behind you.
And the way to Wayland is a serene scene indeed.