Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Exploring Middlesex Fells Reservation

Over the last few weeks, the Boston area has really started to feel like Spring is springinnnn'. More and more, we're getting beautiful days with clear blue skies that absolutely demand my presence outdoors.

I've got to be honest, coming from all of the natural splendor of Vancouver back to Massachusetts last summer was not the biggest upgrade, scenery-wise. I needed a reminder about how nice it can be to head out into the woods on a sunny spring day in New England. Hence, my recent maiden trip into Middlesex Fells Reservation - a 2,200+ acre park just north of Boston full of trails suitable for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and general outdoor merriment.

The Fells, as it's locally known, is one of the "right in my own backyard" points of interest that I'd been meaning to explore, with some of the trailheads as close as a 10-minute drive away. On this particular Sunday in late March, I randomly chose as my starting point the Sheepfold Meadow - a 10-acre field that's actually used primarily as an off-leash haven for dogs of all sizes (and their fleshy parents).

The Sheepfold is located in the town of Stoneham, along the southwest edge of Spot Pond...

Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MA
... and it's funny that I ended up there, since I'm not - how you say? - into dogs, so much. (Please see point #33 on this blog if you have anything sassy to say about that.) But if you head away from the meadow and into the woods, you can leave most of the dogs behind and catch up with a number of trails.

Into the woods at Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MA
Walking north from the meadow, I followed no particular trail - just kept my wits about me and remembered which direction I was walking.

Trails through the woods in Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MAa
The woods were quiet, aside from the occasional dog barking in the distance. There was still snow covering most of the ground, but patches of forest floor were starting to fight through in some spots.

Beautiful blue sky shining through the trees

The blue sky was the big star of the day... I spent a good amount of time looking up.

Blue sky and tree branches in Sheepfold Meadow

Twisted branches against a blue sky in Middlesex Fells Reservation

I followed my random trail for a little while before turning around and heading back in the direction I came. (I wasn't familiar enough with the trail network to be attempting to create trail loops for myself off the cuff.) Fortunately, on the way back to my car I noticed there were some trail maps available beside the parking lot, so I grabbed one for the next time.

Twisted branches against a blue sky in Middlesex Fells Reservation

Sheepfold Meadown, Middlesex Fells Reservation
There are sooo many trails in Middlesex Fells Reservation that I'm finna grab a friend or two and go back there soon to do some more exploring - especially with all these nice days we're finally seeing.

Speaking of nice days... this week I've been packing/prepping for Panama, which accounts for some of the quietness on my blog. I don't expect to post anything while I'm away, soooo if aka Bailey goes utterly silent, just take it as an indication of the good times I'm having down in Central America. I'll probably still be checking in on Instagram or Twitter, if you want to come say hi to me there!

But don't miss me yet, because there'll still be a nail polish post coming on Friday, inspired by a shirt/nails/lipstick combination that I saw in this Ingrid Nilsen YouTube video!

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