This winter, for the first time in recent memory, we've had snow cover for about six weeks straight now. That's right, most of us have not seen our lawns since about mid-December. I wake up some days and think I'm in Vermont, not Framingham.
If you loathe the snow and cold this winter must seem endless. If you enjoy cross-country skiing, like me, you're in paradise. I've been out more times this winter than most, and we still have quite a ways to go until spring.
With conditions like this there's no reason to head up into northern New England, or to the tame and polished expanses of the Weston ski track.
Many local skiers who can handle narrow trails and some hills head for Callahan State Park on Millwood Street. It has a variety of terrain and enough skier and foot traffic to pack many of the main trails down even by the day after a heavy snow.
Nobscot Boy Scout Reservation on Edgell Road, featured here in a previous posting, is a roller-coaster ride of hills, guaranteed to get your heart going on both the climb up and the speed runs down. There's some flat trails, but this is not the destination for beginners. There's not nearly as much foot or ski traffic here, so you may find yourself breaking trail after new snow has fallen.
The proposed Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (featured in the above photo), aka the Nobscot Trail, is the abandoned railroad bed that runs through Framingham from Route 9 to Route 20 in Sudbury. The rail line actually runs all the way to Chelmsford, where trail construction has begun. The most popular section is the unbroken stretch of trail between Water Street and Route 20, that passes through woods, wetlands, and fields, with no street crossings. Straight and flat, this is a perfect place for beginners to practice their skills, and more advanced skiers to really crank out some quick miles. And because the terrain is pretty predictable, it's an ideal place for a night ski under a full moon, or with a head lamp. A great experience if you've never tried it!
So rather than look out the window gloomily waiting for spring, strap on some skis and enjoy the snow!