Thursday, November 8, 2012

Take a Hike - Lower Shawme Pond Loop

By John Nye Cullity

The Sandwich Conservation Trust will host its monthly guided walk this coming Sunday, November 11th, at 2 PM, and we are pleased to offer something new – the Lower Shawme Pond Loop.  We will begin at the Wing School parking lot, and take the sidewalk down Water Street (Rt. 130) to the Town Hall.  We will turn and head up Grove Street to Union Braiding Road, and follow the path over the new Upper Shawme Pond Dam, and back to the Wing School through the Cook Farm Conservation Lands.

This new walk has been made possible by the passage of three CPA sponsored articles at town meetings in 2003, 2006, and 2010.  The first was for purchase of 40 acres bordering Upper and Lower Shawme Pond, including the ca. 1812 dam, the deteriorating condition of which had been cause for concern for many years.  Second, $400,000 of CPA funds voted for use in replacing the dam, supplementing a state grant of $500,000.  Third, $12,000 was voted to construct a footbridge over the dam.

This walk allows us to take in a lot of Sandwich geography and history, looping right through the old central village, over the mill stream, uphill to Upper Shawme, a beautiful spring-fed mill pond, and back through a pleasant, mature forest.  At the dam we will see the remains of the mill site, where the first factory on Cape Cod was built- the Wing Cotton Mill, later the Sandwich Tack Company, still later, the Union Braiding Company.  

Please note that for safety and practical reasons, we are limiting this hike to 25 participants, who must register with me (508) 888-7629, or Joe Queenan (508) 833-0861.  There is no charge for the walk.  If our quota fills up before you can register, perhaps you can join us in the spring, when we will repeat the walk.

The Sandwich Department of Natural Resources would like the public to be aware of three things – that there is no parking available on Union Braiding Road, Wing School is best; that there is a gate at the dam footbridge which should be closed after use; and for canoe/kayak enthusiasts, there is a well-designed portage next to the dam, do not transfer your craft elsewhere.

This is a fairly long walk – allow an hour and a half.  Remember to register as noted above, first come first served.

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