Wednesday, April 1, 2020

An Armchair Tour of Boehm Pond Trail

Lately I’ve been avoiding the overcrowded Rec Path and seeking less-used trails. Everywhere I go, I meet people looking curiously at the trailheads, but a little nervous about venturing into the unknown. I thought a few armchair tours might be helpful.

Yesterday, I walked the Boehm Pond Trail, a quiet gem on the West side of town. There are two access points. There’s a small pull-off across the street from 99 Farmill St. and more parking at 70 Winthrop Woods Road, at the bottom of the hill just past the guardrail. I started at the latter.
A red-blazed trail crosses Winthrop Woods Road at my starting point. I headed across the street (North), towards Boehm Pond. Until recently, you had to take a short side trail less than 1/10 mile up and to the left for a view of Boehm Pond. That’s no longer necessary. Beavers have changed the landscape, giving hikers a water view right from the main trail.
These blazes indicate a short side trail to the left for a better view of Boehm Pond, and the main trail straight ahead.
View of Boehm Pond from the end of the side trail. Those trees with their feet in the water used to be on the shoreline. Beavers changed that!
The red trail is flat and easy to follow, just a tad muddy in a couple spots.
The trail beckons.
About ¼ mile from the road, you’ll cross a stream on some stepping stones.
Rock-hop across the stream.
Shortly beyond that, there’s a sign indicating the end of the open space. Thanks to a pedestrian easement, you can continue down the trail all the way to the end of Boehm Circle.
A pedestrian easement allows hikers to continue along the trail past this sign to Boehm Cirlce
I opted to walk down Boehm Circle, then left on Farmill St. and left on Winthrop Woods Road. Alternatively, you can trace your steps back to Winthrop Woods Road and cross the street to continue on the red trail on the other side of the street.
The red trail continues across Winthrop Woods Road, to the right of the evergreen.
Once you enter the woods, you’ll go down a short hill and across a wooden bridge.
The stream crossing became LOTS easier after the bridge was installed.
Trout lily leaves are poking up everywhere. Look for their pretty yellow flowers in a couple weeks.
Heading uphill, the red trail ends in about 1/10 mile, where it meets the white trail. Bear right and continue up the hill, following the white blazes. In another 1/10 mile, the trail bears sharply left (the path to the right leads to the parking area on Farmill St.).

Once the trail turns, it levels off and parallels Farmill St. You’ll pass a couple other neighborhood access side paths. Ignore them and keep following the white blazes.

The trail eventually bears left, turning away from Farmill St. Keep your eye out for a sharp left turn in the trail, marked by two white blazes, one canted to the left above the other. Take that left and keep following the white trail.
Blazes arranged like this mean "the white trail
turns left here."
On other trips, I’ve seen a large flock of turkeys on this section of the trail. They love the huge supply of acorns there.

A yellow-blazed trail meets the white on the right. It’s a “u”-shaped trail that meets the white again further along. I continued on the white and took a right on the yellow trail at the bottom of the hill, making a sort of figure-8.

At this time of year, the yellow offers a nice view of the stream below.
Enjoy the water view and keep a lookout for wild turkeys!
A plank bridge makes it easy to get across the boggiest spot.
The easy way across the bog.
Once across, the trail heads back uphill and joins the white trail, where you can retrace your steps back to the red trail that will take you across the wooden bridge and back to your car. Total mileage of this route is 2 miles.

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