Bay Circuit Trail Section 5

Posted By on May 16, 2017

10.1 miles; Boxford, Middleton, and North Andover, MA

I certainly won’t say this will be a favorite section once I look back on this adventure. Firstly, it was a little heavy on road-walking. Which could have been forgiven, had there not been so darned much water in the trail. I was fording lakes and rivers every 50 feet, it seemed. And finally, ANOTHER beaver detour made it about a mile and a quarter longer than I had planned, AND the detour ran through a landfill. Still, the weather was finally amazing…

Mill Site on Fish Brook

Today’s section started out on roads in the center of Boxford. When it finally veered off into the woods, it was on a freshly-cut trail with small stumps almost perfectly camouflaged by pine needles, which were fortunately a soft place to land when I inevitably tripped over one of the damned stumps and went down. This little section of the trail along Fish Brook was quite nice, however.

Closed Trail

I really can’t say whether this trail closure added to the mileage or not, as the maplet app I was using on my iPhone just isn’t fine-grained enough to tell. By the way, I am using, in part, gps-enabled maps from the Bay Circuit Alliance to find my way, along with the Gaia GPS app, which includes the Open Hiking Map map layer. The BCT is pretty clearly labeled on that as well, and without it I would have certainly missed a turn. This part of the BCT is kind of sparsely blazed.

Fungus Shot!

This is a brown jelly fungus (Exidia recisa), and it can absorb over 60 times its dry weight. When dry, it becomes a tiny black speck, hardly noticeable on tree bark. And heaven knows there is plenty of water around for it to absorb right now!

Beaver Dam

Now this is a beaver dam worthy of the name. And it’s been here long enough that there was a permanent little trail detour, complete with a bridge, at this spot.

Beaver Flood Warning

And here is the sign warning about the beaver flooded part of the BCT. See the part where they talk about the “Recycling Center?”

Mount Trashmore

I’m pretty sure “Recycling Center” is a euphemism for “Land Fill.”  The re-routed BCT runs right along the oh-so-fragrant foot of this giant pile of garbage.

Read more about the Bay Circuit Trail here. As always, click on the image, above, for details about this section and to download the track.

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