Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cutler Park including Powell's Island 

Yesterday I worked through lunch so I could leave a bit early and do some more exploring in the DCR's Cutler Park in Needham. I've done the loop around Kendrick Pond (aka Cutler Pond) a couple of times during lunch, but I wanted to go further in. I found this map that is much more clearly marked than the DCR's version, so I printed it out and off I went.

I started off at the Kendrick Pond parking (marked with a green arrow on the left of the map), then headed up the outer paths that run parallel to Rt. 128. At some points the path goes quite close to the highway, and this section isn't as well-tended as the path that goes just around the outside of the pond, but it's more challenging, with lots of hills. I continued on rather than looping back around the pond, and found myself heading across the lengthy boardwalk across the marshes to Powell's Island. This is a really nice spot, and on the far side of the island is a spot where people can land their canoes and kayaks from the Charles. Then I continued the loop around the island, back across the boardwalk, and then back down the river side of the pond. I planned the route in this order so I'd be on the sketchier paths earlier, and on the nice open well-maintained and traveled path closer to sunset. This made The Girl happy, as she would have worried if I'd been stumbling around by the highway in the dark. Total of about 4.5 partially hilly miles, in 1 hour 28 minutes.

I saw a few people on mountain bikes, having a good time. Just before crossing to the island I ran into a man and his adolescent son. By their accents, they were from a slavic region, and it appeared the kid had cajoled dad into doing this bike ride which he promised would be fun. The dad was quite tired and they were a bit lost, so I shared my map. The dad wanted to head back, but the kid won out and they continued over to the island. I ran into them just before the canoe landing, and they had turned around rather than finishing the loop. It appears age won out.

I'm looking forward to continuing on some of the trails I've yet to cover.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:11 PM