With the help of the Trails Committee and an Eagle Scout project, a new trail has been created in the field behind the barn. We’ve named it the Monarch Trail after all the Monarch butterfly activity going on in that field and in the adjacent Butterfly Garden. It’s a short trail, perfect for those who have limited time to spend at the Farm or who prefer a shorter hike.
Gary Riggott, the head of the Trails Committee, designed the trail which makes a loop around the field behind the barn and then rejoins the main path to the back meadow near the tree line of the woods. It was initially a grassy, mown trail until John Gillespie, a Boy Scout from Troop 44, took on the task of spreading a layer of wood chips on the trail for his Eagle Project. Gary supervised John, along with several other scouts and parents from his troop, as they covered the entire length of the trail with wood chips donated by Chris Galasso, a local arborist. Dan Barrett, a member of the Town Forest Committee, donated his time and a Bobcat to haul the wood chips from the parking lot to various points along the trail.
To hike the Monarch Trail, start at the kiosk by the barn and pass through the gate onto the main path. Turn right onto the trail which runs parallel to the fence line in the field behind the barn, adjacent to the Butterfly Garden. Follow the trail to the far edge of the field where it heads downhill and over a newly-installed footbridge spanning a wet area on the trail. Continue uphill and turn left when you reach the woods, following the trail to the large pine tree with a bench beneath it, the perfect place to relax and enjoy a stunning view of the barn.
Continuing on, a short trail will appear on the left that leads down to a vernal pool. This pool comes and goes depending on the season, so you might find it full of water or reduced to a mere puddle. Take a moment to explore it and see if you can spot any turtles or frogs in the pool!
Returning to the Monarch Trail, it soon reaches a stone wall bordering the main path. Turn left onto the main path and follow it back up to the barn. With its wood-chip surface, the Monarch Trail makes a short, comfortable hike of about half a mile for those who have limited time or who prefer not to venture further out on the Farm.
A Note of Thanks … The Friends of Adams Farm Board of Directors would like to say a special thank you to Gary Riggott and the Trails Committee for creating this new trail at the Farm, as well as the many new bridges on this trail and the Blue Loop Trail that allow hikers and cross country skiers to enjoy the trails year round. The Trails Committee is responsible for maintaining hiking trails throughout the town of Walpole, but has a limited budget. We encourage area residents to consider making a donation to the Trails Committee Gift Fund to support the work of the Trails Committee. Checks should be made out to the Town of Walpole Trails Committee and sent to Walpole Trails Committee, 135 School Street, Walpole, MA 02081. Please include a note indicating that the donation should be used for trail upkeep.