Please don’t put away your walking sticks yet.
I’ve checked the weather reports and it seems that we will still have some fairly nice days to hike the fields and forests around Newburyport. There maybe, here and there, a few autumn colors remaining. Wildlife is furiously trying to get in the last few bits of food before winter strikes. And the paths just seem to be surrounded by the warm glow of fallen leaves.
Injecting a little politics into this, one of the things I have noticed is the disconnect between the average American and the conservationists. The latter group work so hard to improve our quality of life by preserving our watersheds, our wildlife, the ecology and the environment. With the sweat of volunteers, they create these wondrous trails and work hard to keep these areas free of human detritus.
Yet, they forget to tell us where to find these wondrous places!
I deeply commend Essex County Greenbelt Association and the Essex National Heritage Commission; for taking a leadership position on first, signage, indicating these locations and second, promoting their locations.
It deeply bothers me that we just had a new addition to the Martin Burns Conservation Area (Directly opposite of the State Police Barracks on Scotland Road) and there is no signage! I’ve waited for six months and there is nothing going up. They spent our tax money to create a parking space and put in a kiosk in the forest which you can barely see from the road. Without a sign, how are we, the citizens (and taxpayers) going to know there is this awesome place to enjoy?
So, before the snow falls and forces you to don snowshoes, get out there and explore! According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we’ve little time left!
Pick one or more! (Yes, not even close to a comprehensive list! I’ve left out West Newbury’s extensive trail network and the new Rowley Rough Meadows Area among others.)
Artichoke River Nature Trail (West Newbury side & Newburyport side)
City Forest Interpretive Trail
Clipper City Rail Trail
Clipper City Rail Trail, Phase II
Coffin Island Nature Trail (Newbury-Newburyport)
Cooper North Pasture Conservation Area Nature Trail
Crow Lane Nature Trail
Eliza Little Walking Trail
High Street Bike Lanes
Little River Nature Trail
Martin Burns Conservation Area (Newbury)
Maudslay State Park Trails
Merrimack River Trail
Old Eastern Marsh Rail Trail (Salisbury)
Old Town Hill Trails (Newbury)
Parker River National Wildlife Preserve, Hellcat Swamp & Other trails (Newbury)
Plum Island Turnpike Bike Lanes (Newbury-Newburyport)
Powwow Hill Nature Trails (Amesbury)
Powwow River Rail Trail (Amesbury)
The Ghost Train Trail
Woodman Farm Nature Trail