By the third week of October, the fall foliage was still sort of sparse and dull. Most of the trees were displaying a greenish-yellow hue, with very few reds or oranges on display. With less than two weeks left to October, the temperatures were still in the mid-60s with no rain in sight. Perhaps the unusual weather had led to the subdued foliage season. Although not inspiring, it did provide us with some perfect days for hiking, so when my friend called to hike the new connector trail from Erickson Field to Beech Hill I readily tagged along.
We met in the parking field at Erickson where we proceeded across the bridge towards our adventure. As we crossed the bridge, I noticed some Wild Chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace was still in bloom. The first part of our trip was a familiar one. We strolled along a path through the field before entering the woods. Once in the woods we headed right on the old Loop Trail. It wasn’t long before we turned again on to the Connector Trail.
Once on the new trail, it wasn’t long before we reached a bridge spanning over a wet area. I remembered a social occasion a few weeks before, when my husband and I received a preview of the unopened trail by the man who constructed the bridge. He had been mulling over how he wanted to span the mucky area to the trail beyond. That day, we had made our way across some rocks and up a small embankment before continuing our preview. I must say he did a really nice job; that bridge was such a work of art that my friend and I studied it from a variety of angles before proceeding on our journey.
We followed the connector through another field, where we passed the remains of an old cellar. There was too much foliage in the way to really study the remnants of this structure so we walked on. Then things got a little confusing. From where we stood, we could see Beech Hill Road and the path we were on would take us to that road. The problem; there was also a house not 15 feet from the supposed trail. We looked around but did not see any indication of another route towards the road. Since there was no “private property” sign, we hoped no one was home as we exited the trail and headed up the road towards Beech Hill. I did make a note to try and find out later where the official connector trail ends.
After exiting the Erickson Fields preserve, it was a short uphill walk to Beech Hill. We walked around the newly renovated gates to Beech Hill and proceeded up the road alongside the blueberry fields. When we reached the Beech Nut House, we explored the cottage and the surrounding land. During my investigations, I discovered a beautiful red dragonfly. I believe it was an Autumn Meadowhawk. While my friend continued to explore, I meditated on the fields below and the ocean beyond. The view was mesmerizing but soon it was time to go, so we headed back towards Erickson Fields and afternoon obligations.