This past weekend, I had the pleasure of camping with my son at Wells State Park in Sturbridge, MA for our annual boys camping weekend. I also introduced him to the great outdoors game of Geocaching. That led us on Sunday to visit Opacum Woods, just a couple of miles away from the park, owned and maintained by the Opacum Land Trust, where there are 2 geocaches, of which we went searching and found one of them.
The area is named after the scientific name for the Marbled Salamander, Ambystoma opacum, which unfortunately we did not see any of. If you do see one when visiting here, leave them be and do not take them home with you as pets, they are not endangered, but, are getting close to it. Remember – practice Leave No Trace principles when you are enjoying the outdoors!
The trailhead to this little gem is tucked away in a housing development called The Preserve. At the end of the cul-de-sac of luxury housing, there is a sign that denotes the trailhead. A short saunter from the trailhead is a kiosk with information on the area, as well as trail maps.
Aside from the geocaches located in the woods, there is a pond (aptly named Opacum Pond) and beaver dam, and signs of beaver all over the place. Along the old blue trail towards the end of the blue trail (denoted by the blacked out blue blazes on the trees), there are quite a few trees which had some beaver activity what appeared to be eons ago, and have re-growth around where they went to town chewing away.
There is also a natural cave, which the website states that Indians had used long ago for refuge, my son also had enjoyed his first caving experience here! Armed with my Petzl Tactikka headlamp, he proceeded to go through the cave once, twice, and then a third time.
Within Opacum Woods are a couple miles of easy trails, and beautiful scenery. This is a great place for a family to get out into the woods for an easy hike.
Check out the website here for more information, along with a trail map (there was just a ripped single copy when we arrived there, so you may want to print one out ahead of time), and come see this great little area tucked away in Central Massachusetts!
Before we part ways with this post, my son also recorded his first video blog (completely umprompted!) for all of my readers, so please enjoy!