Great Meadow Paddle and more…..

 by Dave Birchenough

Saturday August 22nd, a brave cadre of eleven paddle-hikers went deep into Nelson’s Great Meadow wilderness to conquer Nubanusit Creek, tested their skills against beaver construction projects and learned all about flora and fauna from Al Stoops, our intrepid resident wildlife biologist. 

Weather was a challenge. Kidding! It was a perfect day – 75º, sunny with just enough clouds for shade when we needed it and plenty of extra water to slide right over those beaver dams. A few adventurers even triumphed by going over the final six-foot high dam. Don’t miss next year’s paddle-hike. These photos are from another Great Meadow paddle – everyone on Saturday was smart to not bring a camera.

Last week Maury Collins and I rebuilt the main Murdough Hill Meander bridge by eliminating the upstream hand rail to provide more walking space. For safety, we decided to reconstruct the upstream bottom foot rail and moved all the decking to create more tread width. It feels nice and roomy now. The millstone remnants are more impressive every time I see them. Next we plan to improve access to the trail by building a small gravel parking lot at the trailhead on Granite Lake Road.

A workday is planned September 12th at 1PM on a new trail near the Village on land conserved by the Conservation Commission some years ago. The trail will explore the old stone dam built to support Asa Wilson’s sawmill in the nineteenth century and the beautiful brook that runs through the property. Anyone interested in helping with the project is welcome to join us. We’ll be breaking in our new tools acquired with the help of the Nelson Conservation Commission and a grant from the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership. You’ll find the work party just off Log Cabin Road behind Bert Wingerson’s house.

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