Saturday, September 15, 2007

Northborough Trails Letterboxing Quest: The Map

Stamp carved and box planted by zess

Location: Carney Park / Cold Harbor Trail
Map it: West Main Street and Davis Street, Northborough, MA
Driving directions
Trail Map

Distance: 2.5 miles
Terrain: Easy

**There is no ink in the box—bring your own. **
**Can be muddy; part of trail has lots of roots & rocks to trip you
**Watch carefully for poison ivy—it is on every open space that I know in Massachusetts

Follow the trail through some trees, past the boulder, along the dam (beautiful place to see a sunset), up and over the mini-woods, across the field, quick woods, along a second dam to the end, and into the woods to your left, where you skirt along a neighbor’s fence. Continue on into the woods again. The path is well-marked with the Northborough Trails markers. Stroll through this lovely stretch, noticing the occasional outcroppings on the hill to your right, and the Cold Harbor Brook wetland beyond the stone wall to your left. As you travel through here, glance down now and then at the ground on your right—you are looking for a “fire-circle.” This is a circle on the ground made from rocks—with room in the middle to build a campfire, and it is immediately adjacent to the trail. When you arrive at the fire circle, notice that just ahead of you the path passes through a stone wall. (If you reach the point in the trail where it turns to the left and enters the wetland via boardwalks, you’ve gone too far--but not too, too far; turn around and you’ll quickly find the location you seek).

Stop on the trail midway between the fire circle and the stone wall, and turn to the right (away from the brook). Several steps away you'll see two trees with multiple small trunks. Go up to them, because between them is a hollow log that doesn't quite belong there.

After stamping in, please be sure that you reseal the baggies, securely seal the box, and re-hide the box in the log, using rocks, bark, leaves, and/or sticks to make sure it is not visible from the trail. It is just a very short way now to the end of this section of the Cold Harbor Trail, so we recommend checking it out. Continue on the trail and take the turn left (indicated by the red Northborough trail markers) to cross the meadow on boardwalks. This section ends at Cherry Street. (If you wish to go further...) Turn right and walk 0.2 miles until Cherry Street dead-ends at West Street. You cannot miss the trail head for the second part of the Cold Harbor trail. Maybe that is where you’ll find the first puzzle piece? And maybe another letterbox?

If you choose to continue on along that second leg of the hike, and then return back to your car, your total distance is 4-1/2 miles. Alternatively, you can turn around from Cherry Street and backtrack to your car. This makes for a 2-1/2 mile hike.

As with all of our letterboxes, we encourage feedback so that letterboxers will enjoy the hunts, and not get frustrated by poorly written clues or unintended hazards.

NOTE: Before you set out you must read and agree to the Waiver of Responsibility and Disclaimer.

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