For many years while driving south past Worcester I would come across a sign on route 146 for an exit to Purgatory Chasm. It would aways catch my attention and I'd make note to one day stop for a visit.
While heading out the door this morning with Ashley and Kaya for this endeavor, Marc grabbed his sneakers and flashed his puppy eyes look. Who could resist not bringing him along for the adventure.
As you can imagine with a place that has the name chasm in it there are a lot of rocks. It was great for Ashley and her friend as seen below. Not so great for Marc and I and his 10" legs. We did not have the opportunity to see the named formations listed as The Corn Crib, The Coffin, The Pulpit, Lovers' Leap and Fat Man's Misery. Might be a good thing, look at the last title.
I let Ashley and her friend go off on their own for a little bit. They were able to explore a few caves while somewhat staying in my sights. Pictured here is the entrance to the chasm.
Marc and I wandered around the entrance where the terrain was a little more stable. It was here that I saw this stone hut that became my favorite photo of the day. I converted it to a HDR image and added a little drama to it. This is a style of photography that is not for everyone, but I'm starting to like this style more and more.
All in all not the visit I was hoping for, but everybody had fun. This stone hut may even make it on my calendar at the end of the year.
Ventured out to the West Boylston rail trail for a walk tonight. Unfortunately our walk was not to happen. The rail trail was closed due part of it being washed out. Seems that about 1/4 mile in from the Oakdale entrance, some beavers built a dam. This caused some flooding which eventually led to part of the rail trail being washed out. The trail is closed until further notice.
All was not wasted on this trip. While there I noticed the fog was rolling in on the Quinapoxet Basin. I was able to capture this photo before it became too dark. The fog gives it an eerie glow, almost looking like ice.
This photo is part of the monochrome weekly theme. Click here to see more monochromes from around the world.
For today's adventure, we ventured out to the Norwottuck Rail Trail. This trail starts in Northampton, MA and ends 10 miles later in Amherst, MA. The rail road was created in 1887 and was used until the year 1979. In 1993 the rail road was developed for recreational use. Pictured above is where we started right at the Elwell State Park.
The view from the old rail road tressel crossing the Connecticut river was impressive. The river was running strong after the recent rain we had.
In all we did a total of 5 miles. A few things surprised me during this walk. First of all it is amazing how flat this area is. Being flat, we saw a lot of farms and fields like this corn field pictured below.
The next thing I noticed was that there were a lot of abandoned things such as houses and old vehicles. Here is what is left of a pickup truck.
It was easy to imagine this area in its heyday. There were a few "track" side buildings along the way. This one here has been left to ruins. It looked like it had a platform of some sort that either allowed passengers or freight to access a stopped train.
Another building that I did not get a good photo of was a multi-tenant building that had a bike shop that you could rent bikes from. Also in this building was a restaurant that sold food, beverages and ice cream.
All in all, this proved to be a nice trail to walk and I can see my family and I doing this again.
My wife and I have been on a walking kick lately. For todays walk we ventured to the Nashua River Rail Trail for a 4 mile walk. This trail was part of the Boston and Maine Railroad opening up in 1848. The last freight line ran along these tracks in 1982. Paving the rail trail starting in 2001 and 2002 followed by a grand opening in October 2002. The north west end of the trail starts in Nashua, NH and travels south east all the way to Ayer, MA. The total length of the trail from start to finish is 12.5 miles.
Along the trail you see remnants of the old railroad such as these moss covered railroad ties pictured above.
At the far end of the watershed pictured above I saw a Great Blue Heron. Unfortunately my 18mm-200mm lenses that I had with me did not have enough reach to take a close enough picture. Being a protected watershed area, getting closer was not an option. I had to settle for this photo that shows the clouds reflecting off of the water.
The Monoosnoc Trail is something that I've heard about but never really paid much attention to it. Doing some research I found a trail map though it is not as complete as I would like it to be. The trail is in the western part of Leominster starting on from what I can tell is the end of Maple street. It goes up Monoosnoc ledge which is the hill you see while standing in twin city plaza. From there it continues south through Leominster state forest and what is known as Parmenter road. Continuing south you pass Haynes Reservoir, Bayberry Hill and Fallbrook Reservoir which brings you close to where I was at Sholan Farms. The trail continues on until it ends at Samosett School.
The length of this trail is said to be 11 miles long. My daughter is already asking me when we are going to hike this trail. If only I had the energy of an eight year old