Willowdale State Forest

I took a six-mile hike in Willowdale State Forest in Topsfield on Saturday. And for th first time in ages, I managed to avoid getting off the trail in the confusing northwest section. Beautiful day for a hike!

Mile Brook, Topsfield

Along Perkins Row in Topsfield, in the middle of an 18-mile ride. This is Mile Brook, looking north.

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North Shore bike ride

Near the Danvers-Peabody line. The sign in the middle says “God Bless America.”
Near Danvers Center
Salem Beverly Waterway Canal

Footbridge over the Ipswich River

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Bradley Palmer State Park, Topsfield-Ipswich line.

Blue, green and gray

Beverly Salem canal

Looking south along the Salem Beverly Waterway Canal from the old bridge in Topsfield.

Town line

At the Ipswich-Topsfield line between Bradley Palmer State Park and Willowdale State Forest. The road it’s on is called Ipswich Road in Topsfield and Topsfield Road in Ipswich.

Running along the Salem Beverly Waterway Canal

I charted a great new five-mile running route yesterday — along the Salem Beverly Waterway Canal, over to the Topsfield Rail Trail, up to the Topsfield Fairgrounds and back. I took this photo at the beginning (end?) of the canal, in Wenham, just off Cherry Street.

According to this Wikipedia article, the canal was built in 1917 and “was never used to transport anything but water and recreational canoeists.” I’d hiked along it a few times with scouts, but had never gone from one end to the other until yesterday. A great North Shore resource.

And despite its name, no part of it lies in either Salem or Beverly — it runs southeast to northwest from Wenham to Topsfield.

Brown Christmas

Click on image for larger views.

Bradley Palmer State Park, Christmas Day, 2011.

Late winter, Bradley Palmer State Park

Went for a two-mile run at Bradley Palmer State Park this afternoon. The pond at the entrance on the Topsfield side (above) is still iced over, and there was a lot of slushy ice along the roadway heading out to the kiddie pool. Just goes to show that melting lags in the cool woods.

Not thrilled to be doing all the pre- and post-running stuff for just two miles, but I’m glad to be moving again.