Murkwood Conservation Lands
October 2, 2009
With free time on this Friday afternoon I thought I might get one more hike in. The Murkwood Conservation Area is nearby and has always been a favorite.
The site of a former farm, the area on the small 79 acrea penninsula off Route 6A in Sandwich has always been an attraction for birds and offers marsh views and views of Scorton Creek. The trailhead parking has been moved a little more than 100 yards down Route 6A toward West Barnstable just behind the sign. The new lot offers more parking.
The new trail takes you around behind a building and connects with where the former trail entered from Route 6A. The complete loop walk is just over a mile and I spent an hour on the trail. I chose to walk it in a counter clockwise loop.
Right away it was startling clear that work had been going on. The trail had been mechanically brushed out and was wide enough to drive a vehile down. There were scars on trees where clearing equipment had hit them.
This twisted pine tree shows a scar where it was hit by clearing equipment.
This bench overlooks the marsh and beyond toward Cape Cod Bay. It’s a nice place to sit and enjoy the view.
Although not recommended, it is possible at low tide to walk out to this small island in the marsh. There are no trails here and the brush is thick. However, there are small grassy areas under cover that make for ideal deer habitat.
This large beam from a wharf is washed up near the bench. It is a good example of the power of the tide and probably left behind years ago in a storm.
The trail clearing stopped once it reach the bench and turned into the interior of the area. The old trail that continues the loop remains the same.
Like in many places along Cape Cod in the autumn, astors are plentiful.
Nature is reclaiming this area. A few years back this area under these tress was an open grassy spot. Today low brush has taken hold.
This footbridge shows how the trail on this side of the area has grown in.
This creek runs up to the marsh end.
I came across this small tidal pool on the other side of the trail. It rises at high tide.
Four of these old fence posts still stand from when the area was used for farming. There is still some rusted barbed wire strung between these two posts.
This footbridge brings you near the completion of the circut.
Just as the trail is about to complete the loop there is a brushed out road to the left. There are signs of cutting, so I took a walk to take a look.
Rounding a corner I came to these three blue pipes in the ground to the left.
A little further on is this well head which must be the reason for the road. This interior trail continues through coming out at the bench overlooking the marsh. Beyond the well there is no cutting and the trail resumes its natural course.
While the parking area is an improvement, I wonder why all the brushing and cutting? Unlike walks through this area in the past, there were few signs of birds. One of the benches that is just over the first footbridge along the marsh was broken on the ground. The second half of the loop is worth the trip.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.