Sunday, December 6, 2015

Take a Hike - December 2015

Nye Pond to Scorton Creek

When:   Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.

Where:  meet at Grange Hall, 91 Old County Rd. E. Sandwich

Looking under Scorton Creek Bridge (Rt. 6A) towards
Fisherman's Landing, in 2000.  John N. Cullity photo.

            The Sandwich Conservation Trust is sponsoring a free guided walk this Sunday, December 6th at 2 PM. We will meet at the Grange Hall, at 91 Old County Rd., East Sandwich. The object is to view a beautiful, interesting, and historic spring-fed water system – Nye Pond, flowing out to Scorton Creek and the Bay.

            As is my style, emphasis will be placed on landscape evolution and historic features.  This watershed was associated with (viewed linearly) a dairy farm, tannery, blacksmith shop, herring run, gristmill, carding mill, jewelry factory, trout hatchery, cranberry bogs, state game farm, salt works, a commercial dock, a small shipyard, and salt haying. I’ll sort this all out on the walk, but there are also many non-water natural features of note, including the largest local black cherry that I know of.

            Much of the land we will walk through is owned by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The area south of the railroad tracks – the former trout hatchery - is co-managed by the Nye family of America Association, Inc. North of the tracks – the old game farm – is co-managed by the Thornton W. Burgess Society, Inc. It is important to know how these lands were preserved for our appreciation and enjoyment, as well as valuable habitat.

            When you park near the Grange Hall, please take care not to block roadways or stick out into the road. Old County Road is now nicely paved, but the town also created a 100 foot drainage swale between old County Road and Nye Pond – this is a traffic hazard and allows road runoff to overflow directly into Nye Pond – how’d that happen?

            The walk will last about an hour and a half, is mostly level but there are some roots, wet spots, brambles, and possible deer ticks – please be prepared. If you have questions, call me at (508) 888-7629.

In this 1904 view, the spring-fed waters of Nye Pond emerge from a stone culvert in front of what is now the Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum, and make their way to Scorton Creek. The men are (L) Samuel H. Nye and Henry Nye, attendees of the 1904 Nye family reunion. Nye family Association photo.

Nye Pond, upper center, as viewed from over
the Maple Swamp Conservation Area in 1986.  
John N. Cullity photo.

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