Ireland Brook Conservation Area
Today we returned to Middlesex County to tackle another area that's been on our list for a while. This one is just north Davidson's Mill Pond Park, which he hiked on September 29. Those seeking a much longer hike can do both Ireland Brook and Davidson's Mill Pond via the connecting Farrington Lake Trail, thereby forming a barbell-shaped track.

Today using this map we parked at the eastern end of Parkview Court and, after finding the Yellow trailhead at the NE tip of the open field, took Yellow east all the way to Ireland Brook where we simply couldn't get across. The map warns of the lack of bridges. We could have waded, but my trekking pole told me that the water was at least thigh deep, so we would have gotten quite wet. But instead of crossing the brook (which is more of a stream) we hiked nearly all the way to Fresh Ponds Road following the southern bank. We then retraced Yellow to what we thought would be the short Yellow loop inside the Yellow track, but a new Yellow has been blazed which contains the eastern brown "connecting trail" on this map as well as an entire segment south of the narrow green clearing and north of Davidson's Mill Road. So Yellow is much larger than is currently shown on this map. As a bonus, we found an abandoned farm with several structures a bit SE in the green clearning. We explored that a bit, finding a piano, and a newspaper from January, 1999!

Back to the beginning of Yellow we decided to add the Forest Brook Trail, so we headed NW in the narrow green clearing, which is completely walkable with no bushwhacking required. We covered that trail, all the way to Riva Avenue and then headed back to the car in the narrow clearing and then the powerline cut. You can see our entire meandering track here.

You can see our track Total distance hiked was almost 4.5 miles in 2 hours and 45 minutes, at least 15 minutes of this time trying to find (unsuccessfully) a way to cross Ireland Book.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Bright red at our car

Crossing the open field... find Yellow


Cold! [photo by Laura]

Beautiful fall foliage

Deer exclosure




...on Yellow trail


Ireland Brook

View north

Attempt to use blow-down as bridge

This is where you cross!


Goose prints


...along the...

...southern bank

Possible bridge?


Saplings on Yellow

Tall saplings

Abandoned farm beckoning us



Front porch


Peeling paint


January, 1999

A piano on a hike!


Boardwalk on new Yellow

Sign on Davidson's Mill Road

Birdhouses in open field

Yellow continues into the woods



In green clearing

[Photo by Laura]


Powerline cut


Ireland Brook near Riva Road

Explosion of foliage!


Tree cutting vehicles

Trailhead for Blue

Gravestone in...

...cemetery on Blue

On Blue

An inviting path

Powerline cut...

...back to car

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