Posted by pselkirk on 15 May 2012 in English (English)

This morning's ramble was the Robert Pustell Reservation. At 2:40 and 6 miles, it was a bit longer than I planned to be out; it's not that dog and I aren't up to it, but I have other things I should be doing.

The map is very nicely drawn, with lots of detail about paths, stone walls, and wetlands. The problem is, it's largely a work of fiction. There are a couple major trails that I just couldn't locate, there are a number of trails that aren't on the map, and the trails that are there often don't bear much resemblance to the map.

To be fair, it looks like the bikers have created a number of new trails. There are prominent yellow diamond arrows throughout, and some of the new trails go over fairly big drops. More problematically, there are banked turns and constructed jumps in a couple places. OTOH, someone else has laced the banked turns with brush and rocks, so it looks like there's some passive-aggressive push-back.

Location: Regency Ridge, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, 01810-5638, United States of America

Comment from pselkirk on 16 May 2012 at 15:33

Went back today to try and find the trail south of Regency Ridge Road, out to the Sunset Rock Road extension. No sign of it, but behind a stand of small pines at the end of the Carter Lane pavement, I found a few Andover Conservation Commission trail markers, in the middle of the trackless forest. After a while, even these stopped, as if they had given it up for a bad job. Let me be clear: not only is there not a trail there, there has never been a trail there, just swamp, poison ivy, ticks, and mosquitoes.

I did bush-whack out to Sunset Rock Road, which is a clear track (not a residential road as indicated from the MassGIS import). It's also overgrown and blocked with deadfall, especially at the northern end. In fact, there's a large tree that seems to have been deliberately felled across the track. On the whole, this outing was an epic failure.

OTOH, I did go back to the Regency Ridge Road turn-around, and found the other trail-head. That trail appears abandoned (also blocked with deadfall in a couple places), and ends in the back yard of a newish house (and picks up on the other side, as I found yesterday). I don't know if the trail crossed private property before, or if the yard encroaches on town land. In any case, it was a small and not very significant addition to the map, but I'm a completist.

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