The Search For Elephant Rock.

April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

First off… In my last post I talked about how I hoped our adventuring crew would grow in number, and that we could go in larger and larger groups as the summer progresses. WELL. Yesterday, that group grew! Hopefully, it doesn’t stop there… So alas, here’s the breakdown:

It’s about 11:00am when I check my Facebook (yeah, I’m a social networking addict). My friend had posted on my wall, “Let’s go play outside.” I agreed, of course – and we planned to grab a group of people, and meet up at a placed called Ward Reservation (North Andover, MA). I’ve actually found a website, through Google, that lists all the hiking and adventuring spots in New England – and surprisingly, as we’ve been knocking them off the list, we haven’t found a dull trail! Moral: Spontaneity wins.

We set off at the base, or what we thought to be the base, of Holt Hill. Not even a hundred feet into the trail, we came to a large clearing lined with trees and rock walls. It was gorgeous. Once again, we picked a great day to adventure. It was a bit windy, but it was no winter-wind that’s for sure. We enjoyed the vastness of the clearing for awhile, taking pictures of the trees and rocks… And each other, of course… Then we pressed on. We had found another part of the Bay Circuit Trail (which wasn’t mentioned in the Harold Parker post, but that’s what we were traveling along also) and followed that for awhile.

The trails at Ward Reservation are definitely more intense than the past two places I’ve talked about. Now… When I say intense, I don’t mean for you to think you have to be Stallone to get to the top… I guess, I mean to say… They get pretty steep. I think we all found ourselves hunched over, leaning forward, as we walked up these steep, narrow paths (so you can imagine). Once we got up to the top of Holt Hill, we could see Boston on the skyline. It was about 20 miles away. I didn’t have my glasses on and squinted to see it – but oh, it was there. At the top of the hill was also a giant stone compass, where we found a couple guitarists just shootin’ the shit and doing their thing. We didn’t stick around too long, since we had a trail map and saw “Elephant Rock” on it… We had no idea what to expect, or even why we would’ve bothered to check it out, but we were enthralled and had to go. So we did.

I will say, Elephant Rock was probably the coolest part of the adventure… Mainly because, it was the adventure. Getting to the top of the hill wasn’t enough for us. That’s probably the best thing you can do if you want to search for adventure, by the way – grab a trail map, put your finger on the most interesting spot you can find, and figure out how to get there. Hey, it worked for us! The trail we took had spit us out in a GIGANTIC clearing scattered with tree stumps (where’d all the trees go?). It was definitely a sight to look at, and our timing was perfect – the sun was going down, giving us a nice sunset, and just before it went away it lit up the treeline one last time – which was our cue to head on out; our adventures were over.

If you ever find yourself looking for a place to go for some great pictures, a game of frisbee (or anything you can ever imagine doing in an open field), Ward Reservation is your stop. The trails are great for walking, jogging, running, or biking – so you really can’t go wrong here.

Click to view all the photos taken at Ward Reservation.


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