Tag Archives: Ipswich

A soupy walk in Willowdale State Forest

As Easter was one of the first nice days we’ve had this spring, I thought I would head over to one of my favorite stomping grounds — Willowdale State Forest in Ipswich — and have a look at what the winter had wrought.

At first the trail seemed unusually dry (this is mud season, after all). Soon, though, I ran into washed-out paths that forced me to change my route and put in more miles than I’d planned on. There were a few bugs, though nothing like what will be buzzing around in a couple of weeks.

All in all, a great walk, and I was back home before the first quarter of the Celtics-Knicks game had ended.

Willowdale on a dry summer’s day

I’m not running because I’m trying to recover from a heel injury. I’m not riding because my bike’s in the shop with a snapped gear cable. So this afternoon I hiked through Willowdale State Forest in Topsfield (this link says it’s in Ipswich, but I stayed on the Topsfield side).

Because of the unusually dry summer, I was able to walk along trails that are almost always off-limits, including a particularly nice path that bisects a swamp. The horseflies and mosquitoes were obnoxious, but not overwhelmingly so.

Despite the dry weather, we’ve had some wild storms. Because of flooding damage, the footbridge that connects Willowdale with Bradley Palmer State Park is out — from the serious-looking chain-link fence that’s been built around it, I’d be surprised to see it reopen any time soon.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos.