As ‘temporary’ adventurer, I wanted to investigate the whereabouts of the cattle tunnel that runs under Route 95.
One of the desires of the Parker River Clean Water Association has been to have a nature trail that runs along most of the length of the Little River. First, this is so citizens and visitors can appreciate the beauty and educate themselves on the importance of the water system that runs through the Common Pasture and, Second, to make it easier to monitor the river for pollutants, unwanted trash and other issues like the condition of the plants and wildlife along the Riparian Corridor (Water-dependent ecology).
Unfortunately, once past Hale Street, the river expands to a huge flood plain that is soggy most of the year. Any trail system would only contribute to erosion and have other negative impacts. But the City owns the Wet Meadows Conservation Area which runs along Route 95 and is currently being leased out to Tendercrop Farms for a cattle grazing area. It would be wonderful to find a linkage through the cattle tunnel to the City Forest property on the other side. Visitors could walk the Little River Nature Trail south to Hale Street, continue on the otherside, skirting the cattle area, pass through a massive wetlands and then continue under Route 95, pass by Turkey Hill and then finish back on Hale Street near the intersection of Turkey Hill Road and Plummer Spring Lane. Of course, private property issues such as liability would have to be explored.
Well, I walked it starting from the highest point of the City Forest Nature Trail and heading due south. It was very difficult going because I was trying to avoid going on Turkey Hill Farm property which, if the signs I saw were correct, would lead me to fines and stockades with rotten tomatoes and other inexcorable punishments. But sure enough, I stuck near the highway and came upon the cattle tunnel, following a coyote trail (It was clear only up to four feet from the ground).
But to my joy, I saw the tunnel was absolutely clear. My greater joy when I found it opened up onto the Wet Meadows (City Porperty!). The future potential for linkage is bright indeed. The tunnel is approximately 100 yards north of the phony windmill that Tendercrop Farms put up as a flimsy excuse to put signage up along the Interstate. Instead of a pump, an old boot stabilizes the rotating gears. The opening is very close to a cattle fence to which I found by mistake was very electrified!
I was able to walk back on the North side of Route 95 back to Hale Street and the entrance to the Little River Nature Trail mostly on dry and stable land.
Take a look: