Below you will see a series of images with their descriptions for this Entry: Gate 54A. For those who are not familiar with this site, click HERE for photographs and a detailed account of this location.
Location: Quabbin Park
Quabbin Hill Rd. Ware, MA (Formerly Enfield, MA)
Latitude: 42º 17’ 9.416”
Longitude: 72º 20’ 15.022”
As shown below, This map encompasses all points as far south as portions of Route 9 in Ware, MA; moving as far east as the eastern coastline of the Quabbin Reservoir in Hardwick, MA; as far west as the Quabbin Watershed in Belchertown, MA; and as far north as the road leading in to Gate 8 (Fishing Area 1) from Pelham, MA and bounding across Cadwell Creek & Chaffee Brook, traversing eastward across the southern portion of Prescott Peninsula and into the restricted portion of Quabbin Waters east. The focus of this map centers on the south-centrally located portion of the map, that being Quabbin Park, described as a shallow domed peninsula, pushing northward into the water between Route 9, Prescott Peninsula, and the east and west boundaries of the watershed and water.
Yellow lines indicate paved or frequently used roads open to the public. Some extensions of these roads may be blocked and/or restricted.
Red diagonal lines indicate restricted areas
Orange lines indicate hiking paths or roads once used before the flooding of the Reservoir.
Blue lines indicate brooks, streams, creeks, or other flowing waters. Any filled in blue shape indicates a body of water. Any blue outline of a shape indicates a bog, swamp, or other still/stagnant waters.
Any marks in pencil indicate a description of their location.
All Quabbin Waters shown are restricted, with the exception of the area located north of the red “LIMIT” line in the west.
A Google Image overview of the entire site. Coming in from Route 9, you will make a northwestward turn into Quabbin Park. Approximately a half mile on that road there will be a parking lot, intersection, and Gate 54A. Turning north onto Quabbin Hill Rd will eventually bring you to a rotary. Going right on the rotary and taking the first right will bring you to a road that will lead to a parking lot, which is at the base of the site to Enfield Tower. From the intersection by the parking lot and Gate 54A, going through the gate will take you over a large ravine and onto Winsor Dam.
Route 9 in Ware, MA, turning into Quabbin Park from the central entrance. The yellow line on the image shows the route taken from Route 9, into the park, and all the way to the first parking area. This distance is also calculated by the “Ruler” Dialog Box, showing that it is exactly 2,222.33’ (.421 miles) from Route 9 to the parking lot.
Distance from the parking lot to Gate 54A, totaling 203.23’ (.038 miles). This is also the distance to the northward turn onto Quabbin Hill Rd.
From Gate 54A to the split at the pathway (top), at 392.41′ (.074 miles) and distance from Gate 54A to the monument atop Winsor Dam (bottom), at 727.74′ (.137 miles).
Images of the ravine and Winsor Dam
The spillover and beginning of the ravine shown to the left of Quabbin Hill Road
Backed out image of the ravine and the bridge going over it from Gate 54A (right side)
From an ENE angle of the ravine, also showing the pathway split from the right fork up to Winsor Dam
Winsor Dam from the split
Winsor Dam and pathway from atop adjacent hill
All images along the road to the rotary, parking lot, and Enfield Tower. Different angles chosen along the way, pay careful attention to the compass in the upper-right. First image shows the length in yellow, bearing down at 8,825.08′ (1.671 miles) from the intersection of Gate 54A and Quabbin Hill Rd all the way to the parking lot at the base of the hill where Enfield Tower rests.
Total drive from Route 9 to the parking lot is just over 2 miles
Cant slightly right of the road to get this view of water and Prescott Peninsula ahead (north), displaying the parking lot and tower atop the hill
Closeup of parking lot and site of Enfield Tower
Looking south from the rotary
Closeup of the parking lot and tower as you drive to it. Paying close attention to the parking lot surroundings, you can see pathways shooting out in different directions. The shadow from Enfield Tower indicates that Google took the picture in the morning, and helps to illustrate the actual size of the tower. The building located where the parking lot meets the road to the tower is a restroom, FYI.
A series of Street-view images from Google. This particular venue has the advantage of being driven on for its majority and so the following images will probably be the only ones of their kind, aside from entrance street-views in the future.
Central Entrance. Heading west on Route 9, this is the view you will encounter. Forking right will take you down this road, to the parking lot. As the sign says, “Winsor Dam”
Past the Quabbin Park Entry Gate
Close examination of this image reveals a parked vehicle on the right, indicating the location of the parking lot
Past the parking lot, Gate 54A is [fork] left and Quabbin Hill Road is [fork] right
The turn onto Quabbin Hill Road
A closer look at the spillover and beginning of the ravine
Looking back at the spillover
A pull-over, by the spill-over!
Ahead on the left is a boat ramp for the MA State Police
Heading up the hill
Scenic vista on the left. Also looks like Google can take a pretty decent sunset photo sometimes too!
Another pullover and vista
Right turn on the rotary
Road to the parking lot at the base of Enfield Tower
Coming out from behind the tree line along the road, looking right offers the first glimpse of Enfield Tower on the hill
Parking lot ahead. Right turn only
A topographic map of Quabbin Park. Pay close attention to the contour lines (the brown, wavy lines); for those who don’t know, closer contour lines mean a sharper slope in elevation/depression whereas staggered or well-spaced contour lines mean a much more gradual slope.
2 final maps: the first showing the restricted area of the map as described and the second showing bicycle access/restriction
Posted in Maps, The Reservoir | 2 Comments »
After nearly one year of effort, I am finally prepared to expose a new segment to The Quabbin Valley. In the last year I have fielded many requests for information and have also paid careful attention to how people are being routed to this site. While there is a lot of ground to cover from this avenue, the one prevailing interest seems to be a voracious longing for maps of the Quabbin Valley.
As I stated very early on after creating this site, I too found it challenging to get instructions on where to go in the Quabbin, how to get there, what to expect. As a result, I began this pursuit for providing a focus on the present-day Quabbin, beginning as many entries as I could with clear directions to each setting. Time has demonstrated (and I can see now, based literally on hundreds of inquiries over the last 2 years) that not only is there a sundry of individuals out there who agree, but written directions are simply not sufficient. The Quabbin Reservation Guide, which I continue to praise as the premier guide for the reservoir, still lacks some detail and also encompasses only the reservoir and not the whole valley.
So this next segment of The Quabbin Valley will consist of a series of maps to illustrate the accounts I have given for where certain locations are as well as how to get there, the course I took, and what to look for when you know you’re getting close. These maps will be a collective effort, using Google Earth tools as well as my own hand-drawn maps, borne of my own familiarity and other useful online resources.
You can expect a new Entry to be posted on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month, beginning today, Wednesday October 1st, 2014. Below you will find a map of what I have demarcated as the Quabbin Valley. Justifiably, some will have their own sentiments of what delineates this region of Massachusetts, which may be in contrast with my own. Perhaps someday I’ll include the neighboring areas in an unconnected project, as they too have beautiful places to see.
On the map below, you will see nearly 200 different locations. This is not the final number of settings you will read about from me, but just the most well-known. Inasmuch as New England has a hefty assortment of charming venues, the Quabbin Valley is the most engaging among them as its surprises and enigmas seem to loiter around every new turn. To find out more about what these locations are, click on the “Map & Legend” tab at the top of this page to see the map with its legend.
Click on the following link:
TQV PM Sites
or use the following:
Posted in The Quabbinhood | Leave a Comment »
After being inundated with requests for information and general questions asked, I’ve decided to open a “Quabbin FAQ” Page that you can locate in a tab at the top of this site. These are questions I get quite a bit and more will be added with time as I get more requests for information. If you have questions about The Quabbin Valley or suggestions for what to add, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. In the coming weeks, more segments to The Quabbin Valley on WordPress will be added as well.
If you haven’t already done so, “Like” The Quabbin Valley on Facebook or follow @NorthQuabbinite on Twitter to stay on top of the latest updates and developments. For more Social Media contact information, visit the “About” Page. Thanks for visiting and I hope to hear from you soon!
Posted in Administrative Reports | Leave a Comment »
Here’s to another great year at The Quabbin Valley. Please visit again for exciting updates to come in 2014!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Click here to see the complete report.
Posted in The Reservoir | Leave a Comment »
I will simply state that this entry features Purgee Brook, which can be found by entering through either Gate 11 or Gate 12, both in Pelham, MA, found on Route 202. This entry is part I of a two-part series where the second part will be “Via Gate 12.” FYI Gate 12 can be found directly next to Pelham Lookout, while Gate 11 can be found directly across from where Amherst Road in Pelham T’s with Route 202. And through a series of twists and turns down old, abandoned roads, you will have the opportunity to enjoy more of the unparalleled sights in The Quabbin Valley.
The initial way past the gate resembles an old parking lot of sorts, ordering you to the right, down a very long yet modest slope. Enormously uneventful at the outset, this location holds some very intriguing and exciting blasts of beauty deep within its boundaries. One such unique aspect of this site takes little time to approach, and features actual street signs with actual names. Whereas every other hollow reservoir street typically wears it DCR badge on a sign resembling a street sign, but that which contains an assigned number instead, Gate 11 displays actual street names.
The main road at Gate 11 also stretches on one of the longest straightaways I have yet seen. Left and right tease the promise of cellars, property boundaries, slinking brooks that pass under the road, and so much more. At one T-intersection, a cellar hole holds onto the land at the corner. For years I had wondered what it would be like to look out from above one of the cellar holes and look outward as if I were a resident in the home before its removal. At last, this particular intersection, a cellar hole tempted to fulfill this wish. A Birch Tree had fallen over the cellar in just the right spot so that I could walk out on it and stand atop the cellar at the same height the former inhabitants once did.
As I approached the end of the road I canted my view toward the left, as some rather dramatic movement of fog had caught my attention. Having seen it, I began to rush to the end of the road in the hopes of getting to the water before it dissipated. Anyone who knows will be able to tell you that such events unfold with tremendous speed and drama, so there wasn’t much time to capitalize. When I would normally meander at my own pace while appreciating my surroundings, the reservoir called for me to meet its schedule on this occasion and forced me to pick up the pace.
Thankfully my efforts paid off in this case. The dew was so live on this day, that it was shooting off of itself like images from space showing the sun shooting off a solar flare. The water brought with it another surprise; another first. The first time I saw a live coyote within a stone’s-throw from where I was. The return trip was against the grain of Purgee Brook, boasting countless views of beauty as you would expect from Quabbin, as you will see with the included images.
The entrance road once past the gate
One interesting thing about this venue is that it’s the only place I’ve found that actually uses real street names instead of the normal “PT” signs with the gate number followed by a “dash-1″ or “dash-2″ etc.
FINALLY! I’ve found a way to stand over a cellar hole as if I were a Resident who once lived in the home. The next picture shows a view of the road as seen while standing on this fallen tree limb, just as the occupants of this home once would have!
The view from the fallen tree limb. This is how the road would have looked while viewing through a window, perhaps, inside the home.
Seeing the fog through the dense forest, I raced to the water to catch a glimpse before it shoved off. So glad I ran! It was also in the vicinity of this photo that I saw my first coyote in the Reservoir! Ironically, it would be the last time I would see wildlife in the Quabbin.
Near the mouth of Purgee Brook
Evidence of human presence. Apparently this is a popular fishing spot!
A hint of coyote
At first I thought it might have been a wolf!
My attempt at the abstract
Mouth of Purgee Brook
Some of the largest culverts I’ve ever seen
This concludes the pictures I got, but there’s another half better visited from Gate 12.
Posted in The Reservoir | Tagged Accidental, Brook, Coyote, England, Farewell, Final, Gate, Lone, Massachusetts, New, Pelham, Purgee, Quabbin, Reservoir, Star, State, Texas, Town, Valley, Wilderness | 8 Comments »
Doane’s Falls is located in Royalston, MA and can be found by taking Route 32 North from Athol, MA past Tully Lake, and then turning right onto Doane Hill Road. Then follow the road until you go up a small hill and come to a “T,” which yields Athol Road. Immediately to the right is a small parking lot off the side of the road.
When you get out, there will be a stone marker on a hill, indicating to whom the site has been dedicated by The Trustees of Reservations.
Doane’s Falls is a series of waterfalls that are emblematic of New England elegance in nature, and can be safely traversed and viewed from atop both adjacent slopes from pathways created and maintained by The Trustees. For an in-depth explanation of this site, as described by The Trustees of Reservations, visit the link above.
The site is relatively short and peaceful, so the pictures do most of the talking about this location. Though I’ve visited this location more than once, I chose the pictures I took on this day, in large part, because I was able to capture a rainbow this time and the weather was just right.
A word of caution before I close: there have been known to be many people who have hurt themselves at Doane’s Falls, so they have cabling rope along the edge of the trail. This should, in no way, create any unwarranted sense of security, and the cables are easily breached above or below their top and bottom lines. This is not the best place to take small children, though if you can manage to keep them close, the trail is as safe as any other.
Though you are almost assuredly going to encounter others during your short visit, it is still a very tranquil site where you can lose (and find) yourself in nature.
An old grinding wheel with an inscription on its face
The rainbow. This day was filled with a lot of mist; likely the cause of such a great reflection
Posted in The Quabbinhood | Tagged Accidental, Doane's, England, Falls, Gate, Lake, Massachusetts, New, Quabbin, Rainbow, Reservations, Reservoir, Royalston, Town, Trustees, Tully, Valley, Wilderness | 1 Comment »
One foggy morning, on my way to spend a morning out at Gate 11, I drove by Quabbin Overlook on Route 202 and noticed dense fog slinking through the hills below, prior to sunrise. I thought I could make a quick stop and grab a few sunrise photos while I was there, but had a long line of traffic behind me and didn’t think to stop until I was upon the turn. So I figured I would stop at the New Salem General Store to get some coffee and a pastry, then turn around and see what I could capture.
However, while I was at the store, the man working there engaged me in conversation, which led to me telling him that I was on my way to the Overlook for sunrise. When he heard this, he introduced me to a different idea; one he called “Our Lookout.” I asked him to elaborate and he told me that there’s a much better spot than Quabbin Overlook in New Salem Center.
I was initially uninterested because I meet so many people who have no interest in Quabbin Overlook because it’s just a small turn-off with not much of a view and so close to the road, and as I’m developing sunrise photos for this location, I often choose to ignore the calls for omission of this site.
In spite of my instincts to stick to the plan and Frag-order of Quabbin Overlook sunrise, the gentleman caught my attention when he went on to explain how New Salem Lookout was a nicer site because it offered a view of islands and water. Then he capped this summary by verbally illustrating how easy it was to access, yet how remote and secluded it was.
Across from the New Salem General Store are 2 or 3 different streets you can take to get onto South Main Street. Once on South Main Street, look for the Firehouse in the Center on the left, with a gravel drive just past it, its course bringing you east into the woods and behind the Firehouse. Following this road will bring you out to a basketball court to the left, and will bend to the right. When the road ends, you must park and follow the road beyond the gate, which leads directly to the edge of New Salem Lookout.
When you arrive, you’ll first notice tall, skinny trees and even some picnic tables to help make your visit more accommodating. The approach to this site is met with subtle sunrise shades on the backdrop of dense trees in the foreground.
I have to admit that the guy at the store was right. Toward the left view there is limitless horizon. Rolling hills were accented by the tumbling fog as it rolled through the valley. Looking forward offers more of the same, with samples of Rattlesnake North and Pittman Hill, but complemented by subtle trails of water meandering through those same sloping hills. Cast your gaze toward the right and you’ll see the islands as well as teasing hints of the northern part of Quabbin Waters.
The sights are stunning, especially on a partly cloudy day, as is the case with any sunrise, but does require some positioning and movement around the trees that sit stagnantly sentry atop the hill. I foresee many more pit-stops at this venue as I continue to explore the West Quabbin.
Posted in The Quabbinhood | Tagged Accidental, England, Firehouse, Fog, Gate, General, Hill, Horizon, Island, Lookout, Massachusetts, New, North, Overlook, Picnic, Pittman, Quabbin, Rattlesnake, Reservoir, Salem, Store, Sunrise, Table, Town, Valley, Water, Wilderness | 6 Comments »