Southborough Recreation has shared a new website for the Trails Committee. The committee will be using it to communicate news and updates, including volunteer trail clearing efforts. If you are interested in helping clear trails, click here to sign up.
The news prompted me to re-post information on local options for walking trails.
(With scattered thunderstorms forecast, today may not be the best day for this topic. But, tomorrow looks like a great day for a walk.)
In Southborough, we have several great options for nature walks – Here’s the official map from the Southborough Recreation Department
- Bay Circuit Trail
- Bay Path Turene Wildlife Habitat
- Beals Preserve
- Breakneck Hill Trails
- Chestnut Hill Farm
- Fayville Dam
- Sudbury Reservoir Trails
Below is a list of some of other local walking trails shared by last year’s intern Alyssa (in her words):
- Ghiloni Park in Marlborough – what’s great about this place is that there’s amble things to do. There’s soccer fields, a softball field, a playground, exercise area, skate park, and a shaded walking trail. You can even bring your dog on the trail, too! (I may have scraped my knee a few times roller blading down the trail as a kid)
- Of course, there’s always walking trails at Hopkinton State Park – grab a park pass at the library and you can make a whole day out of it that includes swimming and walking.
- And if you don’t want to travel outside Southborough’s borders, there’s the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land perfect for hiking, bird watching, and cow admiring. (watch out for the poison ivy)
If you’d like to share your favorite walking trails in the area, comment below.
I’m checking this with the state. I still have a permit for “no fee” for Mass. residents 62 or older. Couldn’t find a mention on the Dept’s website so have inquired. Had o present proff of age and receive a pass to all rec facilities of Dept of Conservation and Recreation. (except rental camping). Also no parking fees if driver is the holder of the pass,
Please be aware that when walking these trails (or anytime you’re outside in the summer) you may encounter insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. There are several products available that are effective in protecting you. Please check the Mass. Dept. of Public Health’s fact sheet (.pdf) on repellents at this link: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/m-o/mosquito-repellents.pdf
You should also perform a “tick check” on you, your children and pets when you get home. Clean, empty or discard any containers that may hold water for more than a week to reduce mosquito habitat around your home.
There is some important history on the Sudbury Reservoir Trail between Deerfoot and Parkerville Road. Before Stony Brook was flooded to become a reservoir in 1898 Joseph Burnett’s Deerfoot Farm buildings stood right on what is now the trail. This photo from the Southborough Historical Society shows the buildings in 1896. The prominent livestock unloading sheds on the left would be under water if they had remained standing.
There is a clearing along the trail that provides a fine view of the Burnett-Garfield (aka Deerfoot) stone house at 84 Main Street. This time of year the early sun lights up the stone in grand fashion. Here’s a recent photo taken just after 6:00 AM.
For a time Joseph Burnett’s Deerfoot Farm accounted for more than half the wages in Southborough. And Deerfoot sausage, which originated here, went on to become nationally-advertised on the radio after the operation moved to what is now the Medical Center on Newton Street.
To enter the trail from Deerfoot Road you can walk straight through the clearing that lines up with the crosswalk.
Interesting to see the Fayville Dam listed. I’ve driven by there, and there is a big sign on the road leading up to it. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it’s something to the effect of “no public access, we will prosecute any trespassers.” (That’s not the wording, but whatever it is, it gave me the impression that I was definitely NOT allowed to go see the dam or the area around it.) Any idea where we can park to access walking trails around there?
Hmm, I’ll have to look into this. It may be that I misinterpreted the Town’s map of walking trails. All of the other locations noted on the map are walking trails. So, I assumed that one was, too. But now that you’ve asked about it, I looked again and saw that it was the only one without an icon of a hiking person next to the spot.
Looking again at the maps, it appears that the Fayville Dam is close to part of the bay circuit trail. But, while you can walk around the northeastern part of the Sudbury Reservoir, near the dam, you are forced to get off on Clemmons Street to Pinehill Road, then Boston Road to make a wide berth of the actual dam and adjacent property.
It’s a jungle out there, and for hand combat you need good weapons. Gas-powered heavy duty saws, trimmers and weedwackerss used by landscapers are great, but some of us like to be stealthy. And there is a satisfaction factor when you use hand tools to slice through Southborough’s Official Weed, Bittersweet. Here are my favorites.
Bottom: Weed wrench — the ultimate solution. Yank out small trees by the roots. with a sweet thwup
Fiskars HS551 shears
Stihl 32″ loppers – light, strong and sharp, for up to 2″
Felco No. 20 and No. 2 cutters – gardener’s old standbys – indispensable
Corona SL6500 heavy duty bypass loppers – heavy, powerful, good for roots
Silky hand saw – favored by pros, nice when you’re on a ladder
Battery-powered sawzall – like a stealthy chain saw – takes our trees
Black and Decker lithium-ion 36V string trimmer and hedge shears – mine are still fine after a couple years. Do not waste money on less-powerful battery trimmers
Don’t forget a good set of safety goggles and radio earphones to keep the ticks and mosquitoes out of your ears.