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Breaking the RASTA Marsh Brook Trail - Part 2

Snowshoeing the RASTA Marsh Brook Trail - part 2

I've been waiting for 6 months to snowshoe the RASTA Marsh Brook Trail. I bought Red Acre Cottage in July and I have been eyeballing this trail online since before I closed the transaction. It's only open in the winter snow season...thanks to the kindness of a conglomeration of local land owners. Their gracious agreement to allow RASTA to maintain the winter trail is nothing short of a blessing as this has to be one of the most beautiful trails I have ever been on. 

A short photo tour of the trail in early January 2018

Rather than blathering on about the details I'll go with the theory that a photo is worth a thousand words. Brief explanations captioned with each photo. 

 

 This is the RASTA Marsh Brook Trail according to my GPS on January 8th, 2018. The beginning and ending point is Red Acre Cottage. Much of the trail was unbroken, and I took my sweet time taking photos and gawking at the sheer beauty of my surroundings. 

This is the RASTA Marsh Brook Trail according to my GPS on January 8th, 2018. The beginning and ending point is Red Acre Cottage. Much of the trail was unbroken, and I took my sweet time taking photos and gawking at the sheer beauty of my surroundings. 

You enter the trail along North Hollow Road across from the little red schoolhouse. As soon as you round the corner (going southwest / counter clockwise) you are greeted with an awesome layered view of mountains to the south. 

As you begin to head downhill and head straight south, you will cross a small bridge and then a fenceline. You will notice the cemetery off to the west uphill from you. It's worth spending some time in this cemetery in any season. It's an amazing historic and spiritual experience. I can't help but think about the lives of the people that have lived in this magic valley for hundreds of years. 

Restored barn to the west of the trail as you head south. I think it's a custom woodworking place but don't quote me. 

Just after this barn, you drop down into the woods and head Southeastish. 

Once you enter the woods use caution! It is a fast, crooked trail. Don't get introduced Sonny Bono style to a tree. 

 When you pop out of the woods on the southernmost tip of the trail, you will be in an open glade. Turn left (east) and head up toward the Harvey's property. You'll take another left pretty quickly and head uphill. Make sure you keep looking over your shoulder because the views are epic. 

When you pop out of the woods on the southernmost tip of the trail, you will be in an open glade. Turn left (east) and head up toward the Harvey's property. You'll take another left pretty quickly and head uphill. Make sure you keep looking over your shoulder because the views are epic. 

At this point the snow drifts across a large open plain. Keep an eye on the red ribbons and the RASTA blazes or you'll lose the trail. This isn't a big deal except you lose the snow pack and post hole up to your knees.

Looking north from Harvey's farm. I believe that's Braintree Mountain in the background. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. 

When Words Count writer's retreat on Marsh Brook Road. 

Once you crest the hill, you will drop back into a section of woods. There are two more small bridges you will cross. If you're on skis you'll have to side step up a small hill into the pasture above. 

When you get to North Hollow Road, you can either turn west again, and follow the trail back to where you began and jump off the trail by the old schoolhouse, but I jumped off here and walked the road the rest of the way home. Pictured is Harold Hubbard's sugar shack. 

You can follow the trail west through the pasture or down North Hollow Road.