Wellesley North 40 trail walks draw Friday morning crowds; Girl Scouts get outdoors

The Wellesley Trails Committee last week switched things up, and instead of hosting a weekend guided walk as it usually does, scheduled one on the North 40 trails for Friday morning. It proved to be a good call, as groups of about 15 and 30 joined for a mix of exercise and information in the woods off of Turner Road not far from Morses Pond.

The North 40 contains 46 acres purchased by the town from Wellesley College in 2014, and is currently used for community gardens and recreation on the marked and unmarked trails that wind throughout it. The town is currently in the process of figuring out what future uses for the land might be, and which parts will be preserved as open space.

During the trail walks on Friday, participants learned the history of the Cochituate Aqueduct and community gardens, and were wowed by a towering seedling tree that has risen skyward and aged gracefully for an estimated 200-plus years. Participants checked out the vernal pool, which walk leader Rick Mongeau said had been deafening weeks before with frogs making their calls. Information was also shared on the old landfill, which operated from 1955-1960—that area is now blocked off with a bunch of logs to discourage people and their pets from going through there.

Walkers followed the purple arrow markers, which indicate a loop trail, and were finished in about an hour.

The Trails Committee is an appointed volunteer group under the Natural Resources Commission that maintains the town’s trails network and leads walks on the trails during the spring and fall, among other things (disclosure: I’m a Trails Committee member).

The next free guided walk is on Saturday, May 4 (9am) at Centennial Reservation.

Wellesley Trails Committee at North 40
North 40 walkers in front of giant white pine


North 40 trails walk
Big group testing the boardwalk capacity


North 40 trails walk
Towering muti-pronged tree at North 40


Separately, the Wellesley Girl Scouts have been out in nature this weekend and were asking others to do the same.  The Scouts set up at various locations across town on Saturday and Sunday to encourage residents to observe and record plants and animals using the i Naturalist app. Troop 73505 partnered with the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission to coordinate local events as part of the global City Nature Challenge (see more on this in our recent Sustainability roundup).

girl scouts
Wellesley Girl Scouts, from left, Victoria Dudler, Florencia Altschwager and Hailey Duan at Longfellow Pond


Jennifer Bonniwell contributed to this post.