Bay Circuit Trail Section 7A

Posted By on May 30, 2017

6.36 miles; Andover, MA

Okay, so I originally planned this as a long 14-mile section, and when I changed my mind and decided to break it in two, I didn’t feel like re-numbering all the rest, hence 7A. This was an interesting section, what with multiple eskers and a cemetery and a kangaroo crossing and a really long boardwalk. Not section 6 interesting, but not bad.

Dedication Stone

The first part of this section was on the Indian Ridge Reservation in Andover, which is apparently a very old property, having been set aside for public use in 1897. The Bay Circuit Trail guide describes the trail as following an esker, and then another esker. What’s an esker? Glad you esked (from Wikipedia).

An esker, eskar, eschar, or os, sometimes called an asar, osar, or serpent kame, is a long, winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel, examples of which occur in glaciated and formerly glaciated regions of Europe and North America. Eskers are frequently several kilometres long and, because of their peculiar uniform shape, are somewhat like railway embankments.

The trail followed two particularly long eskers, both of which were quite steep.

West Parish Cemetery

After de-eskering, the trail crossed a road and headed into the West Parish Cemetery, which was quite lovely. The BCT isn’t in the actual cemetery part, but in a woodland border around the cemetery, very much like the Master Gardener Trail around the Rhode Island Veteran’s Cemetery.

Um, Really?

Following a short bit of road walking, the BCT then enters the Doyle Link, a property owned by the Andover Conservation Commission. That’s where I came across the kangaroo crossing. Didn’t see any kangaroos, though.

Amazing Boardwalk

The Doyle Link is also where I found this most excellent and amazing boardwalk over a huge swamp. The BCT Guide says it’s 700 feet long. That’s more than 1/8 of a mile of exquisitely-crafted boardwalk with rope railings. It was a marvel. And where did they get pieces of rope that long?!?

Route 495 Crossing

At this point the BCT spends over a mile and a quarter on roads, which I presume was the only way they could route it over both Routes 93 and 495.

Think I Made the Weight Limit…

Once over the highways, though, it was back into the woods for the final 2 miles of this section, through several properties owned by the Andover Conservation Commission and AVIS, which is NOT the rental car company. It stands for the Andover Village Improvement Society, and they own and maintain quite a bit of land here in town, which includes a good bit of the BCT.

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

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