Thursday, April 9, 2015

Take A Hike - Early Spring in the Maple Swamp

By John Nye Cullity

The Sandwich Conservation Trust is pleased to continue with our monthly guided walks, now that the snow is gone. Next Sunday’s hike will be held at 2 P.M., in the town-owned Maple Swamp Conservation Lands, off Service Road, about halfway between Rt. 6 Exits 3 and 4. 
For anyone who has not visited this 770 acre preserve, this walk will serve as a good introduction. This area is a place of wonderfully dramatic topography – the hills and hollows of the glacial moraine. In the early days of Sandwich settlement, this uneven land was divided into 20 to 40 acre woodlots, providing timber and fuel for the coastal farms. For much of the 20th century, these woods were abandoned, a real wilderness.  Preservation began in 1966, when the town purchased several of the woodlots from the East Sandwich Friends Meeting – the Quakers, and we’ve been adding to it ever since.
At this time of year, the shape of the land can be better seen through the leafless woods. Perhaps we can glimpse the Maple Swamp itself – several acres of wetland in the bottom of a huge hollow. The walk is free of charge. It will last about an hour-and-a-half, and is fairly strenuous, with loose stones and roots to watch out for. The walk will be canceled if it rains.
The Sandwich Conservation Trust is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1985, and is dedicated to the preservation of undeveloped land in Sandwich. Our website is www.sandwichconservation  We are also on Facebook and have an e-newsletter, through which notices of our walks and meetings are given. If you have questions, feel free to call me at (508) 888-7629.

The photo shows power lines which pass through the Maple Swamp
Conservation Lands present an interesting, shorn view of the glacial moraine.
This view was taken in 1968.

John Nye Cullity photo

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