Saturday, January 5, 2008

Winter Water

The plan for the day was a short hike, and the Quabbin Reservoir was decided upon.

Right before we got to the entrance, we pulled off to get a look at one of the prettiest rivers in the valley; the Swift River.

This section of the Swift gets its water directly from the depths of the Quabbin. It's always cool, even throughout most of the summer, crystal clear, and usually fast moving. Perfect trout waters.

There's one of the state's trout hatcheries nearby, and most of the Swift is always well stocked. This part of the river, directly below the reservoir, is a fly-fisherman's' favorite. Apparently at all times of the year:

We entered the Quabbin through the middle entrance, and proceeded to the bridge over the very spillway that feeds the Swift River.

The bridge is blocked off with a gate and jersey barriers, as it has been since the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Not so much to protect the bridge, as keep certain people (with evil intentions) from driving vehicles with dangerous 'cargo' over the Winsor Dam nearby.

This baby holds back all the water of the humongous Quabbin. The reservoir is the primary water supply for millions of people in the eastern part of the state, so you can see the urgency of making sure it's safe.

The back side of the dam looks like it could be an incredible sledding hill. Someone nipped that in the bud, though.

I remember, as do many people, tumbling down this hill as a child. Back when people were allowed to drive over the dam, which is paved, the lower areas were mobbed on nice days. People just hanging out, getting sun and picnicking. Aaaah the pre-9/11 days...

We made one more stop, at the Enfield lookout. A great view of the mighty Quabbin from here, A small tablet tells the tale of Enfield, one of the four towns partially or entirely submerged, to make room for the reservoir. This lookout is also a popular spot to watch for eagles, which live across the water.

We started our little hike. There's no shortage of trails and fire-roads throughout the Quabbin. Plenty of stone walls and stone foundations from the pre-reservoir days also.

We kept our eyes and ears open for wildlife, but the woods were very still today. There were lots and lots of deer tracks everywhere, though.

It was a nice little hike. I'm going to have to look into getting some snow-shoes though...

1 comment:

Tommy said...

I used to go to Quabbin and play frisbee with friends when I was in High School. Stopped going after a friend got busted by rangers who saw him through binoculars smoking a joint.

People who have been to Ireland tell me that the area around Quabbin reminds them of that country.