Saturday, July 4, 2015

Bagging some towers

With the fourth of July holiday weekend in front of me, I decided to use my time to get in some runs in while visiting some current and former fire towers.  I've visited almost all of the standing towers in MA and quite a few off the former sites.   As I started looking at visiting Dover I noticed that I could go to a few more with very little driving (once I got in the initial hour).  I got on the road at 4:30 am so that I could avoid traffic and also hit the first location soon after sunrise to make a stealthy visit.

I got to Brush hill in Sherborn at 5:30 am and headed out for a 3 mile run.  I couldn't find any info on how to access the hill so I thought I might have to bushwhack through some private property.  I was happily surprised to find that a network of Sherborn Town Forest trails took me right to the top.  There were no remnants of the tower but there was a building on top housing a cell tower.

Next up was a 30 minute drive to Franklin.  The fire tower had been the top floor of the central fire station.  That station was torn down in 2008.  So nothing to see but the new building.
That was as far south as I had to go, so I turned north and at 7am I arrived at Moose Hill wildlife sanctuary in Sharon.  I'd visited the tower in 2008 but not the former tower site.  I arrived as the parking lot was opened, paid my $4 and headed off for a 3 mile run.  I spooked a couple of deer but saw nothing else nor anyone else as I had the area to myself.  There was a nice view from Bluff hill but no view from the tower on Moose hill which was posted and had a high solid fence.

Brush hill tower footings

Allen's ledge chimney

Next up was a 20 minute drive to Dover for a visit to Snow hill.  I'd been to this tower back in 2008 as well.  That time I'd approached from the north.  This time I parked on Pine street near the town line.  I found a pull-out near the pond due east of the hill.  I figured I'd run the road and try to find the tower access road (it is an active tower).  I was happy to find a trail right where I parked.  It was a short run up to the ridge and would have been a quick run to the tower but I wasn't sure which way to go on the road.  I got in 2+ miles exploring the road.  The tower also had a tall new fence so no climbing.  I checked out "South Snow hill" but found no tower remains at that location.
Trail sign near the start

My final run of the day was at the very nice Rocky Woods Reservation ($5 parking fee).  I was the only car in the lot at 9am.  I plotted out what I hoped would be a nice 3 mile loop.    Cedar hill had some footings but was overgrown now so no view.  There was a nice vista a little further down the trail  Later in the run I saw the remnants of an old quarry.  All in all the reservation was pretty nice for running although a bit buggy on this day.

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