Before the weather gets too cold for the camera to work well, we grabbed another sunny, temperate day to take ABMI Cable TV viewers up Knuckup Hill in Wrentham for an episode of “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”.
My friends, Richard and Dyan Rook joined me, and cameraman Tyler McMinnaman did the taping, bravely heading up the hill in front of us, walking backwards to better show us walking up the fire road. The final 28 minute episode is here.
It is a climb to reach the beautiful view that awaits visitors to Knuckup Hill. The fire road is in pretty good condition, but the steepness has caused a few washouts on the edge of the road. I worried about Tyler as he walked backwards, ahead of us with camera on his shoulder, and kept warning him away from the edge. He is a master editor and all my cries of “Look out, we don’t want you falling off the edge of the path!” were smoothly deleted from the final tape.
The road is wide, and we saw few other visitors on an early mid-day afternoon. Just prior to where the view is, the abandoned sky lift equipment alerts visitors to a portion of the history of this hill. The town of Wrentham used to run a local downhill skiing operation in winter. The Rooks noted that town leaders grew concerned about liability and shut down operations. I had heard from others that lack of snow did in the ski operation. Regardless, the old ski lift is a reminder of days gone by. I like to imagine cold winter days and families greeting one another at the top of the hill before taking their turn sliding down the (very steep!) slope to the bottom.
The edge of the former ski slope is where the view is. The buildings of Boston stand out in the distance, as well as hills northwest of Boston. In the foreground is the tall spire of the Congregational Church which stands in the center of Wrentham, facing the town common. The foliage was on the ground for this visit, but nature is not static. The seasons will continue to change, and in the coming days the view from Knuckup Hill will change as well.
After heading back down the fire road, we made time to check out Trout pond, at the base of Knuckup Hill. When I first found these trails, no signs existed to alert visitors that they had found the right place. Recently signs have been added, both for Knuckup Hill and Trout pond.
Trout Pond is actually two linked ponds, with wide fire roads around each body of water. Late fall is not the prettiest time to visit, and it’s still nice to get water views, regardless of t he time of year. We found our way blocked by water that had flooded the banks of the pond, and turned around, rather than circling the pond as I had planned. In my many visits here, I have always seen a very few others, but never crowds that made me wish I had come another time. It is a great place to #avoidcrowds and find an Easy Walk, for sure! Directions, with a helpful map to the trail head are included in the book Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition. Happy Trails!
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.