Monday, May 7, 2012

Foss Farm - Carlisle, MA

Our first hike with the Little Dude was to be in the Lincoln Conservation area. However, after struggling to find the entrance we ended up at Foss Farm in Carlisle, MA. We found it by accident while we were heading to Great Brook Farm and decided to stop in. Foss Farm is a 57-acre parcel purchased in 1971 for conservation and recreation purposes. It is located on Route 225 in Carlisle, about a quarter mile west of the Concord River, on the right. It is separated from Carlisle's Greenough Land Conservation Area by a portion of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. There are many trails that seem to wind throughout the woods and past the community gardens.  

We pulled into the parking lot and unloaded our dog and our baby stroller.  The area seemed level enough to use the stroller as opposed to carrying the Little Dude.  We went off towards the sign post hoping to see a map.  Unfortunately there wasn't one (this always makes me a bit nervous) but there were many postings on picking up after your dog.  A map of the trails can be found on the conservation website.

We went off down the trail and passed a horse rider working with her horse and another pair of hikers.  We crossed a dirt road that gave the gardeners access to the gardens.  On such a nice day there were many people working on the gardens.  According to one website there are over 70 garden plots for members to tend to.  

We wandered along and into the woods.  The trails were sandy and clear of tree limbs or storm damage.  That day wasn't as buggy as it could have been given the rainy weather we had the week before.  We then came across a dirt road with a sign asking us to watch for sled dogs.  We followed the trail towards the tower and down towards the wetlands.  

We found the entrance to the Great Meadows Refuge which we didn't enter because we had the dog.  And then we found a lovely house with sheep and goats in the yard.  We could hear in the distance someone working with a whistle to train a dog.  At this point we wondered if we were trespassing and decided to turn around and head back.  We took a few side trails that meandered back up to the parking lot.  There was quite a bit of still water at the sides of the trails.  We could see the mosquito eggs waiting to hatch.  As pretty as that was we were itching just thinking about it.

When we arrived back at the parking lot, there was only one other vehicle there.  We had hiked a little over an hour.  As we looked at our dog we could see ticks all over his paws.  We put the Little Dude in the car and then tended to the dog.  We must have pulled off 30 ticks in the parking lot, another 10 when we stopped for ice cream at Kimball Farm, and then brushed out more when we returned home.  We had read in the papers that it would be a bad tick season.  It appears that they were right.  

This was a good easy stroll in the woods.  Just right for a quick outing that can easily end in an ice cream sundae or frappe.  
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