Friday, November 02, 2007

Fall Foliage at Breakheart Reservation, Saugus

We recently did a fall foliage walk through the Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, going along the Ridge Trail, up Castle Rock, and along the two bodies of water in Breakheart--Silver Lake and Pearce Lake--and it is this latter lake that was particularly beautiful with the changing of the leaves. Below are a couple of pictures around the Pearce Lake area in Breakheart:

photo of Pearce Lake, Breakheart Reservation, Saugus

photo near Pearce Lake, Breakheart Reservation, Saugus

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Hike in the Lynn Woods, Lynn, MA

A group of us went on a hike in the Lynn Woods a few months back, checking out some of the sights that this huge outdoors area had to offer.

photo of cave at Dungeon Rock, Lynn Woods, LynnWe started out by going up to Dungeon Rock (which is near the Pennybrook parking area). There is a long cave--or perhaps more accurately, a tunnel--that we went into for a bit. It was dark and slippery, so we didn't make it that far, but it was very interesting.

photo from Mount Gilead, Lynn Woods, LynnFrom Dungeon Rock, we skirted Breed's Pond, eventually ending up at Burrill Hill, which has a stone tower, then over to Mount Gilead, which has a steel tower. Mount Gilead's views were better than those at Burrill Hill, with a particularly nice view of the Boston skyline.

photo of Walden Pond, Lynn Woods, LynnWe dropped down to Walden Pond (no, not the one in Concord!) and had lunch at a peninsula on the western end of the pond. The pond is very peaceful and placid, with few people around, making it a nice lunch spot.

photo of Breed's Pond from Lantern Rock, Lynn Woods, LynnAfter lunch, we hiked over to Mount Moriah, then took the beautiful Undercliff Path back toward the Pennybrook lot, but before we did, we hit Lantern Rock near the parking lot, which has breathtaking views of Breed's Pond from the top. Then it was back to the lot as we called it a day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunset, Moonrise at Castle Island, South Boston

A few weeks ago, several of us did an evening walk at Castle Island in South Boston. The fog that was as thick as you'll ever see it (see post from July, 2007, to see photos).

Tonight, a slightly larger group of us did the exact same walk at Castle Island, but this time, the sky was clear, the sunset was spectacular, and the moonrise was a big bonus at the end of the hike. Below are a few photos I took from tonight:

photo from Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo from Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo from Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo from Castle Island, South Boston, MA

Monday, August 20, 2007

New Map for the Blue Hills Is Now Available

Just a quick note: A new trail map of the Blue Hills is now available at the Park Headquarters on Hillside Street in Newton for $2.00. This map has a number of changes, including the removal of the orange-blazed Massachuseuck Trail, as well as the addition of white-arrowed and yellow-arrowed trails.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In the Fog at Castle Island, South Boston

A group of 10 of us went for an after-work walk around Castle Island in South Boston tonight. The fog moved in as soon as we got there and only got thicker as the evening went on. Below are some pictures I took in the fog at Castle Island:

photo of waterfront, Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo of Causeway, Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo from the causeway, Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo from fishing pier, Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo of obelisk, Castle Island, South Boston, MA

photo of walkway, Castle Island, South Boston, MA

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Arnold Arboretum, Spring, 2007

photo of lilacs near Bussey Hill in the Arnold ArboetumA group of about 15 of us hiked through the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, MA, several weeks back. It just happened to be the day before Lilac Sunday (which is held on Mother's Day), so we lucked out by getting to see lilacs in bloom without dealing with the crowds. Most lilacs that we saw were on the first part of the hike near Bussey Hill (see photo), with lilacs seemingly everywhere along the north side of the hill.

photo from summit of Bussey Hill, Arnold ArboretumAs we hiked around, then up, Bussey Hill, we noticed many other plants and trees in full bloom in addition to all the lilacs. The colors seemed to be particularly spectacular this year. We wandered up various trails, finally reaching the top of Bussey Hill, taking in the beautiful views of the Blue Hills and the surrounding area from the partially open summit (see photo). After spending some time at the top of the hill, we wound our way down some trails, reaching the bottom of the hill near the Conifer Path. Most of the trees along the Conifer Path seemed to be healthy, though we did see a couple of larger pines that seemed to be either diseased or simply getting up there in age.

photo of fruit trees on Peters Hill, Arnold ArboretumFrom the Conifer Path, we crossed the street to the other side of the Arnold Arboretum, gradually heading around Peters Hill before going up to the top. From the summit of Peters Hill, we could see the Boston skyline as well as much of the Arboretum in the foreground, making for an interesting scene (and a good place to stop for a bit). The north side of Peters Hill has many fruit trees, some of which were in bloom (see photo), so we took a few trails along the side of the hill before heading back to the bottom.

photo of road near Peters Hill in the Arnold ArboretumAfter reaching the bottom of Peters Hill, we took one of the main roads in the Arboretum (they are all closed to traffic, by the way), including a remarkably scenic stretch (see photo) before jumping onto a trail and heading back across the street to a trail that led up the little-known Hemlock Hill. We spent some time relaxing there, again enjoying the views of Boston in the distance. Then we headed down the hill and took a trail through an area of beech trees before taking our final trail, which led us through willow trees and maple trees. It was the end of what must have been one of the most scenic hikes I've taken in 2007. Hopefully I'll get back in the fall to see some of the foliage there.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Great Meadows, Lexington/Arlington, MA

Great Meadows is an area of meadows, woods, and low hills that sits within the town of Lexington, but it actually owned by Arlington. Nearly 200 acres in size, much of Great Meadows is inaccessible, as it has no real trails and is mostly wetlands (see photo). There is, however, as series of trails mostly around the perimeter of Great Meadows, and it is possible to use trails and side streets to complete a loop around the area.

A trail starts from the Minuteman Bike Path, in East Lexington just behind the intersection of Routes 4/225 and Massachusetts Avenue. This trail shifts between level boardwalks (see photo) and hilly dirt trails, going counter-clockwise around the west side of Great Meadows. Following the main trail, it eventually goes past some beautiful strands of birch (see photo below) for a short time before going up a hill with scenic views of the meadows as well as Lexington.

From the top of the hill, the main trail drops into some deep woods, then skirts a school and eventually ends at a side street. By following a series of side streets back toward the bike path, the loop can be completed. One option is to take a right on a side trail off one of the side streets, which leads to a remarkable view of the meadows from its eastern edge. That trail then continues south to the bike path.