By Dan Brosgol
The seasons they are a-changin’. . .
In the blink of an eye, our October sunburst of foliage and warm sunshine is gone, replaced by the dismal rain and wind that only November can offer us. But with that change in seasons also comes a last chance for outdoor activities before heavy winter gear becomes necessary. And I have been taking full advantage of that window.
Last weekend I explored the Wilderness Park Conservation Area on Saturday and spent the better part of Sunday hiking on Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire, and this week, on Friday, before the sub-freezing wind chill torpedoed our outdoor plans for Saturday, I headed out for a runthrough town that added two more notches on my Bedford trails belt. I thoroughly recommend both outings.
Click on each image below to see it at full width – All images (c) Dan Brosgol, 2015 all rights reserved
With my little one bundled up in the jogging stroller and two hours to play with, I ran from my house to the Old Reservoir near the intersection of Shawsheen Avenue and Page Road. Entering from Shawsheen, the path splits above the reservoir at a fascinating building that looks like a spaceship, but which we can refer to, officially, as the well house. From there, the circumferential blue trail loop winds its way up, down, and around the woodland for 0.9 miles. Bearing right at the alien craft, I slowly navigated over numerous roots and hills for the better part of 10 minutes, skirting the edge of Shawsheen Cemetery before the path began its loop back towards the well house. I took the second orange-blazed spur, which led me through a lovely grove of pine trees before the yellow access trail dumped me on Page Road, at the top of the hill near the Lexington town line. I saw a family of blue jays, geese in the reservoir, and generally appreciated the fact that I had never known that Bedford even had an old reservoir until last weekend. And it’s quite a beautiful one, a mini-oasis that’s totally worth checking out.
Emerging from the trail, I headed downhill on Page, crossing Old Billerica and bearing right at Wedgewood, and continued all the way to Francis Kelley Road, where I made a right and ran until I hit the cul-de-sac and the trailhead forthe Springs Brook Conservation Area. The narrow path is borderline impassible with a stroller, but I forged forward with my daughter still fast asleep despite the past 40 minutes of rambling over uneven terrain. The path turned left after a quarter mile, away from Page Place on the eastern horizon, before crossing Springs Brook and offering a beautiful vista of the wetland that I never knew existed, just east of the park. It was a boggy, slow run, but the views of the marshland were gorgeous, and after a few turns the path ended, abruptly, just behind the basketball court in Springs Book Park.The road out of the deserted park was softened by a blanket of pine needles, and the last mile gently sloped down to the Depot where home was waiting and I could get on with my day.
Time’s running out for trail explorations, but I’ll try to hit up a few more between now and the end of Thanksgiving break. Stay tuned.