A Walk Through the Parklands

                                          The Rustic Bridge to Freedom Street

In 1900, a wooden structure named Rawson’s Bridge was constructed to cross the upper end of the pond. It was replaced in 1928 with what became known as the Rustic Bridge. The road from Freedom Street to the bridge was built in 1907.

A short distance west of the bridge, there’s a path that more-or-less follows the river upstream. Within a few hundred yards, it leads to a large rock at the water’s edge. At one time, this was Hopedale’s “old swimming hole.” Bathing suits optional. There’s a beaver dam there now, which you can see in the picture below.The trail turns to the west and eventually turns back to the main road. This path was added in 1914.

There’s another path just a little west of the Rustic. This one heads south, to the waters edge. It’s not nearly as long as the one that heads north.

The picture above shows the rock named Texas. It’s not on the main road. To find it, take the path that begins on the west side of the Rustic Bridge. The one that heads north. You’ll have to follow it for about a quarter mile before you come to Texas. By 1912, there were six miles of roads and paths in the Parklands. The path to Texas was built in 1914. I didn’t know it had a name until a saw a picture of it with the name in the caption in the 1914 town report.

Shortly after the main Parklands road turns south along the west side of the pond, there’s a road that goes off to the right. (It heads to the top of this picture.) There’s a fork about 100 yards up the path. Take the left. You can follow this up to the G&U Railroad tracks. From there, you can continue to the top of the hill, west of the tracks, and take a look at the Lookout.

A scenic overlook on the west side of the pond.

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