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Bay Circuit Trail Section Hike # 3 - Map 9 Ashland To Sherborn

Posted Sep 20 2013 5:00am
I can summarize this hike in two words,"Sherborn Sucked."

The unmarked trails and inadequate trail guide for this section really got me down. I spent so much time backtracking and looking for the trail in vain that I lost all my enthusiasm for completing the trail. In the final two miles of the 12 mile hike, I decided to abandon my plan to hike the remaining 80+ miles of the trail to Kingston. Now that I've had time to reflect on the hike, I've reconsider my decision, well sort of. I'm in no hurry to go back to the BCT and it's unlikely I will finish the trail before the end of the year.

I should have known I was in for a long hike when I hit a detour in the first quarter mile. Following the detour south on Route 126 in Ashland I turned onto Tri Street. There I encountered another problem. The bridge on Tri Street was was washed out!  Even the detour had a detour so it was back to Route 126 for more road walking. Finally, after more than two miles of pavement I got some dirt under my feet walking under a power line that would take me to Barber Reservation. 

Off-road section in Ashland could not be taken making for a long road walk.

But the detour described in the trail guide was blocked!

I got a sense that I was in for a long day of misfortune.
There wasn't much to Barber Reservation.  A few meadows and some wide dirt paths were all I saw. In fact, the walk along the power line and though the reservation was only a mile long. I took a short break at Barber to have a snack and some water and then took to the road again. What should have been a short half mile road walk turned into a futile search for the trail head on Dexter Drive in Sherborn. I walked up and down the street three times but could not locate the trail that passes through private property and onto farmland that would take me to Brush Hill Reservation.  After a good 30 minutes I decided to continue on the road and find the reservation on my own.
Not a trail but better than the road.

Trail though a grassy meadow in Barber Reservation.
I made a new friend on my road walk from Barber Reservation to Brush Hill Reservation so it wasn't all bad.
After another 1.5 miles of unplanned road walking I located the trail head at Brush Hill Reservation. Unfortunately, the blaze at the trail head was the only one I ever saw. Since the BCT was unmarked here, and there were many intersecting trails, I decided to follow the one that appeared to be the most traveled. It was the logical choice but ended up being an incorrect one. More backtracking, more cursing and inevitably more road walking followed, but I was able to find I my way to Sherborn Town Forest. 

View of the farm I was supposed to hike though but couldn't locate the trail on the opposite side.
 An opening in the trail revealed this building and tower.
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