Sunday, August 8, 2010

Trout Brook Valley, Easton

Trout Brook Valley in Easton has miles of trails and a little something for everyone. My favorite spot was this open hilltop orchard. It's just not something you usually run into on a hiking trail.

According to the brochure, if you go through the gate there are blueberries in there that people are free to pick in season. It was too hot in the sun, so I didn't explore the orchard area. I assume the fence is to keep deer out.

That's an image of old New England right there. The trail runs right alongside the deer fence. Although I think the farmers used to just shoot the deer and eat them rather than put up fences to keep them out.

Dog owners are allowed to take their dogs off-leash. Hurray! It was so nice not to keep getting tangled up in the leash.

Biscuit was overjoyed, and did a good job staying nearby. She does have a thing for high places, though. Part goat, I suspect.

And then I found a broken arrowhead in the middle of the trail. The third one in a week.

The park is depressingly overgrazed by deer, although the average person probably won't realize it. Most patches of green are alien plants that deer won't eat. But here was a big patch of Naked-Flowered Tick Trefoil, a native plant in the pea family. The leaves look a little like Poison Ivy.

The flowers are tiny. I suspect deer don't care for this plant, otherwise, why would there be so much of it growing here?

A completely different kind of Tick Trefoil was in bloom in a moister area - Showy Tick Trefoil.

They do a nice job of balancing many different uses in the park. Most of the trails are open to mountain bikes, but a few sensitive trails are not. Part of the park is open for hunting, and part is not.

The park does suffer from "sign pollution." Partly that is unavoidable due to so many different types of park users, but it's also partly because big bold arrow signs are used instead of traditional trail blazes, and there are just too many waymarkers, trail maps, and various other things tacked onto trees and put on posts. This sign says, "No Fishing." I think there used to be a stream there.

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