Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sherburne Trail

In October we went for a quick walk in the woods near our home to get outside and to take some "spooky" Halloween photos of our baby.  

Sherburne Nature Center is on Coburn Road in Tyngsborough, MA. the Sherburne Estate and habitat is an 80-acre parcel consists of a combination of woodlands, marshes, a beaver pond, and a meadow maintained to support birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. It was donated to the town in 1999. 

Sherburne Nature Center activities are open to all who are interested. Unless otherwise noted, all activities take place at Sherburne Estate and will go rain or shine. In extreme weather conditions, activities will be canceled. No reservations or fees required. You simply show up.
We've hiked here many times.  We've also done some geocaching on the property as well.  It's one of our favorites for a quick time in nature.  The parking lot has a welcome sign with postings of animal or bird sightings.  The fall colors were starting to fade and we could see that storm clouds were going to be heading our way so we put the Little Dude in the Ergo and set out on the paths.  
We immediately came across this little guy hiding in the middle of the trail.  He had many friends nearby as well.  
This bench is one of many Gold Award and Eagle Award projects that have been completed by Girl and Boy Scouts on the property.
Ansel had fun sniffing about in the leaves near one of the vernal pools.  

We found a great spot at a fork in the trail to take photos of the Little Dude.  Then the skies grew very dark and we started to get dripped on by the oncoming storm.  We walked back quickly towards the parking lot but I couldn't resist getting some pictures of the wetlands in the gloom.  
The rain slowed and we wandered down towards the wetlands to investigate some new construction.  There was a gentleman installing a boardwalk and new benches to over look the beaver dam and wetlands.  We chatted with him for a bit and then after he told us it was safe we went out on to the new construction.  It was a lovely addition to the trails.  We were able to walk out a bit and be surrounded by cattails.  We liked it so much we went back there in November to take our Christmas photos.    

We wandered back towards our car as those dark clouds grew darker. Next to the parking lot is the house.  It serves as the hub for all nature exhibits in town and is a learning center to the public. We've never been in it but the gentleman constructing the boardwalk was staying there while he was working. 


As I mentioned this is one of our favorite spots to walk.  If you are in the area, I definitely recommend checking it out.  I always find something new to see and explore.  Maps are occasionally at the kiosk in the parking lot.  The Town of Tyngsborough usually has them on their website but the link I found appears to be broken at the moment.  

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Lake Massabesic

In Mid-September we had a very warm day with nothing to scheduled.  So we ventured into the woods.  Trying again to use the trail app on my phone we set out for Lake Massabesic. Massabesic Lake is a lake in southern New Hampshire, United States, covering about 2,561 acres within the city of Manchester and the town of Auburn.We struggled to find the trail head that was marked on the app in Auburn but parked near an entrance off a main road. 

We pulled out our stroller and followed the path with our picnic lunch from a local sub shop.  The path was easy enough for use to push the baby along in his stroller with some inclines and a few ruts here and there to be cautious of.  I dislike not having a trail map and hiking poorly blazed trails but we could hear people and catch glimpses of the lake through the trees.


We hiked along and came across a wooden map near the Massabesic Audubon Center. It gave us some bearings to where we were.  We followed the trail towards the water.  The woods were cool and shady.

We found a nice point to sit and watch the boats.  Later I learned that this spot is named Battery Point.  While eating our subs were heard the sounds of loons in the distance.  We caught a glimpse of the pair swimming and diving.

Loons in the distance

Native American legends claim that the famous New Hampshire chief Passaconaway died on Lake Massabesic. A settler reported that the elder chief was headed towards Loon Island on the east side of the lake, which was "a place of fond memories of the aged chief's young past". When he was in the north part of the lake, a thunderstorm was being formed, which "was a sign of the presence of the Great Spirit". Then, a lightning bolt hit the canoe in which Passaconaway was riding in, and he and the canoe were disintegrated instantly.

After we ate we backtracked through the paths.  It was quite warm and we had only a limited amount of water with us.  There were miles of trails to be explored though and I would definitely go back again for a walk in the woods.  



Maps of the Lake Massabesic Area can be found on the Manchester waterworks website and on the Massabesic Audubon page.
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