Sunday, July 20, 2014

The famous train wreck

Ever since I started becoming acquainted with the forest around Millstone Hill, I've heard of "the train wreck."  The trail leading to it is not in the Town Forest but is part of the Millstone Trails system.  Since I've been promoting use of the forest, I hadn't had a chance to do much exploring outside.  But today Paul and I were determined to find it, and we're really glad we did.

The trail winds down behind Barre Town Elementary School into a wet gully, probably home to beavers, since the trail is known as "Beaver Run."  There's a rickety bridge to cross and then it heads back up another hill.  Winding around, the trail is generally pine-needle covered which makes it really quiet.  Toward the top of the second hill, all of a sudden something rises out of the ground, and we realized that it's an old railroad bed.  It's covered with ferns now, but once held two rows of track and still has the steel track embedded in it.  A switching device is visible, and soon thereafter, here's what we saw:

The forest has grown up all around what's left of the flatcar and the granite blocks it held.  The Beaver Run trail continues one toward Websterville Road, but we turned around to stay in the forest a bit longer.  We realized that it wasn't that long of a walk, maybe a mile, but then every walk is long if you're not sure where you're going.  We'll be coming back soon, I'm sure, with our neighbor who's a train history buff.