Dedham Town Forest Part 2
© Damianos Photography
Here I am entering the town forest. Yes, that is Route 128 North to my right; the southbound lane is to my left just out of view. So that means… the town forest is on the median strip?
Yes it is. The gate I am entering is located on the newly reconstructed Washington Street overpass, across from Mary Hartigan’s…etc. The land was taken by the state in the 1950’s when Rte. 128 was built. In 1972, State Representative Charlie McGowan completed legislation that deeded the land back to the town. He hoped that trails would be developed on the property and that residents would use it for hiking and picnicking.
My feeling is that it never really caught on as a recreational area, and my friend Jim believes that some people found a more nefarious use for the isolated spot (see comment on yesterday’s post).
The fence runs about a thousand feet down a narrow corridor, and the land then opens up into a much wider woods. Even with the trees still bare, once you are inside the woods you don’t really see the highway; but you can certainly hear it. Check out the satellite view on Google maps (which does label it as the Dedham Town Forest). It really is a pretty big piece of land, extending all the way to Rte 109. So the next time someone tells you to “go play in traffic,” you’ll know where to go.
Next post: What I found in the Town Forest, and what found me…