Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Easy Walks in Franklin - Beaver Pond (Chilson Beach)

We are fortunate to be able to share a few excerpts from "Easy Walks in Massachusetts: Bellingham, Blackstone, Franklin, Hopedale, Medway, Milford, Millis, Uxbridge, Wrentham, and Woonsocket, RI" recently published by Marjorie Turner Hollman.

Beaver Pond (Chilson Beach)
Beaver Pond (Chilson Beach)

Notable: Look for signs of beaver and migrating waterfowl.

Trail Map: Not available presently.

GPS Coordinates: 42°4'57.39"N, 71°25'5.38"W

Directions: Rt. 495 exit 17, Franklin Rt. 140, travel toward Franklin Center on Rt. 140 for .75 mile. At stop light, turn right on Beaver St. just past Akin Back Farm. Beaver Pond is .5 mile down on left, just before the 495 overpass.

Cost: Chilson Beach pass for Memorial Day to Labor Day, for Franklin residents only, $75.

Bathrooms: Summer only.

Best time to visit: For Franklin residents only during the summer; swimming and boating. Year-round for hiking, no residential restrictions before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.

Trail conditions: Unimproved, wide dirt track.

Distance: .25 mile.

handy guide
handy guide

The sounds of Rt. 495 are inescapable, but Beaver Pond still offers a nice, easy walk and plenty of parking. Also called Chilson Beach, the pond area posts lifeguards in the summer, offers swimming and ball fields, but beyond the beach area on the left (the east side of the pond, away from Rt. 495) there is a trail that follows the edge of the pond. 
The trail intersects Beaver Pond and a marsh area, which lies on the other side of the trail. Lots of opportunity for birding. The trail dead-ends in a water department access road. There is no public access in or out of this road. 
About three-fourths of the way to the end of the trail, another trail branches off to the left along the edges of the marsh—follow it around the marsh edge to see multiple signs of beaver, appropriate for a recreation area on Beaver St.! Parts of the trail are somewhat obstructed by beaver activity, but still fun to explore with children, who may discover the tell-tale signs of beaver’s presence.

You can obtain your own copy of this book via this Amazon link

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