Monday, June 30, 2008

Middlesex Fells Reservation - Reservoir Trail Run

I’ve been getting a little bored with running trails in Breakheart Reservation every weekend so I decided to try a new location for my Monday morning run. I’ve been thinking about doing a run at the Middlesex Fells for a long time so I figured today would be a good day to explore.
As I arrived at the Sheepfold parking lot the sun had broken though the overcast sky. I could feel the heat and the humidity rising as I prepared for my run. I’m not a big fan of either and I wanted to get into the woods as soon as I could to escape the blazing sun. Since this was my first run in the Fells I reviewed a trail map to select a trail. The Skyline is the longest and most difficult trail in the Fells. I have been thinking about running this trail for a long time. Today would not be a good time to try it. I ran a total of 3 hours on trails the past two days and my legs were feeling bit heavy. I needed to find a trail less challenging and shorter in distance. I decided to try the
Reservoir Trail. This trail encircles the north, middle and south reservoirs that supply drinking water for the city of Winchester. According to my trail map it is a moderate to difficult trail, 5.2 miles long.

It was really warming up and I needed to get a move on. I was already feeling the effects of the heat and humidity and I had not even run a step. I exited the parking lot and headed down a grassy slope all the while the sun beat down on me. At the bottom of the slope I could see a opening with a trail running parallel to me. I turned onto the trail and immediately feel the cool air in the shade cover. I ran down the flat hard-packed trail looking for the trail markers.

The Reservoir Trail is very well marked with orange blazes and I had no difficulty following the trail. It is mostly double track trail with a moderate amount of rocks and roots. The trail is pretty flat and the climbs and descents are more of a rolling nature with no steep, long hills. There were a lot of muddy sections on the trail due to the heavy rains of late.

I had expected to have some great view of the water as I made my way around the three reservoirs. Unfortunately, the trail never got very near to the water. I was disappointed that I only got an occasion, obstructed view though the trees. One thing I was happy about was all the shade. The trail is almost completely under tree cover making it a great trail to run on hot, sunny days.

My run was uneventful except for a brief encounter with a few unleashed dogs. Of course their owners told my to “just run by, they wont bother you” but the dogs seemed to be a little “runner weary” so I walked past instead. I made my way back to the parking lot in about an hour. My
Garmin Forerunner 205 clocked the distance at 5.6 miles, slightly longer than the trail map indicated. I have to say I did not enjoy this trail very much. The terrain was not varied enough and did not provide any interesting sites along the way. It was fine for the easy recovery run I was out for but I would not do it if I wanted to challenge myself. Fortunately, there are many other trails at the Middlesex Fells. I will return here someday soon to discovery what they have to offer.

Stay Cool…..

View of Reservoir Trail

Elevation Profile

Friday, June 27, 2008

Greenbelt Run For The Hills Trail Race

This July the Essex County Greenbelt Association (ECGA) will be hosting their first trail race in Hamilton. The ECGA is a member supported nonprofit land trust that has conserved nearly 13,000 acres of land in Essex County. Greenbelt works with local communities and landowners to acquire and protect ecological areas, farmland and scenic vistas. One of their major goals is the creation of "greenbelts" consisting of river, trail, and other natural corridors, coastal systems and visually intact landscapes. I hope you can support their fine efforts by running the race. The race is run on private land so this will give you an opportuity to explore some new trails in the area.

GREENBELT TRAIL RACE (5K OR 10K) July 19, 2008 9 a.m. startPingree Reservation, Pingree School, Hamilton, MA

This summer, Greenbelt will host a trail running race on our Pingree Reservation in Hamilton, Massachusetts. This is our first trail race, and we are excited to promote the use of our conserved land for the sport of trail running.Encouraging people to get outdoors and on our properties for recreational pursuits is important to Greenbelt. We expect this race will encourage both novice and experienced runners to lace up and hit the trail!As a regional land trust, we have a responsibility to educate community members about the benefits of land conservation. One way to have people understand why conservation is important is to help them enjoy and experience protected land in their community. With the trail run, we will introduce more people to our land conservation efforts, while providing a fun and healthy outdoor activity.If you are interested in sponsoring the Greenbelt Trail Run, download the
application form or contact Becky Dean,
Information for Runners
Course Description:The course begins in a field at the Pingree School, and immediately enters the forest. The entire course will be run along the trails that wind through the Pingree Reservation. The trails are both single and double track. Footing is relatively even, but there are a few tricky spots. The course is rolling, with a handful of short uphill and downhill sections. The 5k runners will run one loop, and the 10k runners two loops. The course will be marked with flags, and volunteers will stand at locations where runners might be confused. There will be one water station set up at the start/finish area (which will be at 3.1 miles for the 10k runners).
Race Map

Registration:Runners can register
online, in person at the Greenbelt offices, 82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA, M-F, 9-5 or print mail-in registration form. Day of race registration is from 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. at the Pingree School. All runners registered by July 1 will be guaranteed a wicking race shirt. Registration may be limited to 150 runners.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tour de Breakheart

I’m sure there are many of you reading this blog that have never been to Breakheart Reservation much less gone for a run on some of the trail there. I decided to video tape a short run I took on a few trails today. I hope this video will get you interested in exploring the many trails here. It was raining during the run which made filming a little difficult. The gray sky and humid conditions affected the quality of the video. This was also my first attempt at filming on the run so it’s a bit bouncy at times. I hope it doesn’t make you dizzy.

Start of run – Fox Trail and Saugus River Trail

Running on the Saugus River Trail

Running on Jeep Road and Pearce Lake Trail

I hope you enjoyed this sampling of some of the running trails in Breakheart Reservation. Next time I’ll wait for sunnier skies!

Stay Dry…
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...