Until a few years ago, the ponds of Delcarte Conservation area, just off Pleasant Street in Franklin, were private property, the trail around the ponds nonexistent. Ernie Delcarte left the property and ponds to the town of Franklin, and we are all richer for this gift. Take a simple walk around the ponds (plan for about an hour), bring the kids to the playground, fish off the dam (catch-and-release only!), or bring your canoe or kayak for a quiet paddle. You’ll find yourself returning to this gem of a spot, now protected for future generations, thanks to one man’s generosity.
From 495 take Rt. 140 south (exit 17) towards Franklin, past the Stop & Shop plaza, go through the light at Panther way, turn left at next light, Beaver Street. Go straight through the two lights at Franklin Center (St. Mary’s Church) the road becomes Pleasant Street, about 1 mile up on the right are two parking areas for Delcarte, second parking area is paved, with playground. Both parking areas provide easy access to the trail around the ponds.
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.