Cascading Waters can be found at 135 Olean Street on the eastern edge of Worcester's northwest parklands, the Cascades. The Cascades are 350 acres of park and conservation lands along the borders of Worcester, Paxton, and Holden, Massachusetts. Home to countless species of plants and animals, the Cascades are open to passive recreation year-round.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cool, Breeze, and a Touch Humid

Settling Back Down Again

So, last week was the due date for State Grants to Acquire land, and that meant that leading up to last Monday things were pretty jam packed. As soon as the grants went in it was time to turn to the Annual Meeting preparations for this past Sunday. The Donker Farm Celebration was beautiful. After that Mary and the Crew hit the Asnebumskit Ridge Trail yesterday for some clearing work. Summer is busy season!

Annual Meeting & Donker Farm Celebration
 
GWLT Directors Huck and George testing out the trail stile 

Yesterday also saw the crew from the Lodge duck out and head west along the Mohawk Trail (Route 2), and along the way spend time at Savoy State Forest admiring the gate work, the Appalachian Trail crossing admiring the information kiosk, and the deep river ravines and glorious hilltops admiring the views. We took pictures! We have ideas! We love taking the best we see elsewhere and bring it back for the Cascades!

Speaking of which, last week saw the completion of the trail stile at Donker Farm, and part of that crew was Edward and Dan, from the Worcester Public School, CCC program! They were great help, and really enjoyed the project as well as the sheep, chickens, and geese that were keeping an eye on us as we did our work. Sadly the WPS program drew to a close last week and we had to say goodbye to our new friends who had worked at Crow Hill, Cascading Waters, Cascades West, and Donker Farm.



Ted is in Maine!
Based upon our tracking, Ted should have crossed into Maine by yesterday. While he is in a cell phone signal deadspot, and will be for much of his Maine trek, he reports in when he is able to catch a signal.
Follow Ted's travels here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at 8:00 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 70.7 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 90% and steady;
Pressure is 29.88" of Hg and steady;
The Wind is stirring, but not registering any speed;
The skies are sunny;
The Cascades are quiet;
The Cascades Brook is pretty much dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Isolated showers and thunderstorms after noon.
Patchy fog before 8am.
Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 87.
West wind around 6 mph becoming calm in the morning.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Overcast but cooler

While there's still plenty of humidity in the air, it isn't quite as oppressive as it was yesterday.
At 8:30 am, it is 70.2 degrees and steady.
The humidity is 82% and steady.
The barometer stands at 29.56 inches of mercury and steady.
USFS Fire Danger for today remains LOW.
The National Weather Service forecast for today: A slight chance of showers between 3pm and 4pm, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. Light west wind becoming southwest 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Another Cool Sunny Summer Day!

The weather is hard to improve upon of late!
Sunny, cool, with a light breeze.
Pretty amazing really.

If you are looking for somewhere to go out and hike you might want to check out www.hikeworcester.com


CASCADES WEST

After a two year period of examining the possibility of closing off Silver Spring Road (Howard Street) as it runs through Cascades West, including a meeting with user/hikers, discussion with Trust volunteers, discussion with Holden and Paxton and their public safety officers, and internal review, we have decided to move forward with making the road into a pedestrian recreational corridor that can be opened to address specific maintenance and public safety needs.

There would be one gate to the north close to Camp Street, and one gate to the south at the edge of the pavement in Boynton Park.

The reasoning is simple:

1. The road is only one lane wide for most of its length, posing a traffic problem.
2. Because the road sees extensive use as a recreation corridor, limiting vehicular traffic would promote user safety.
3. The road is neither plowed nor maintained by the towns, and remains impassable for much of the winter. It may appear passable at the lower end when the unpaved upper end remains blocked by snow.
4. Restricting vehicular access will assist in curbing illegal dumping.
5. Restricting vehicular access will eliminate "cruising."
6. Reducing vehicular traffic is very good for wildlife habitat.
7. You! We want your experience of the Cascades to be an enjoyable one!

This project will not happen until the end of July or the beginning of August and comments and thoughts can be directed to cascades@gwlt.org

Sadly, yesterday, when we went to post signs informing users, we had a new and pretty nasty illegal dumping to deal with, and while this was very unpleasant, it really drove home in an unambiguous way the undeniable need to better secure the conservation land from abuse so that we can all benefit.

Hopefully this will be a site improvement that everyone will come to enjoy in the long-term.


The Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 10:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 66.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 61% and falling;
Pressure is 30.00" and steady;
Skies are sunny;
Breeze is moving but not registering any mph;
The Cascades have minimal flow;
The Cascades Brook has minimal flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. Light and variable wind becoming south around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Beautifully Chilly Morning!

What a wonderful summer!
Rare have there been really hot days.
Today's cool morning is fantastic!


DONKER FARM

We made a first step on an hiker stile at Donker Farm Monday night.
The idea is to make it possible to have a hiker pass through the meadow where the sheep graze without the sheep being able to escape.
It is going to take more work, but we had a huge crew that managed to dig 4 holes simultaneously and set four posts, and that is a fantastic start!

ALSO, on Sunday, July 26th, the Trust will hold its Annual Meeting out at Donker Farm!


Mark your calendars!





     "ONE IF BY LAND"

If you can,
hike in from Cook's Pond, parking on either Olean Street or Tatnuck Garden...
Or
hike in from Cascading Waters, parking on Olean Street...
Or
hike in from Cascades Park, parking on Cataract Street...
Or
hike in from Cascades East, parking on Olean and Cataract...
Or
hike in from Boynton Park of Cascades West, parking on Silver Spring Road...
Or
hike in from Southwick Pond, parking on Walbridge Road!

     "TWO IF BY SEA"

You could also canoe or kayak over, parking on Olean Street!

As this is part of the 4 Town Greenbelt, and if you are up to it, make the most of it!


TED'S AT TREK

Ted has taken a hiatus from the Appalachian Trail to atend a week long music festival, and when he returns next week he will hit the trail in Franconia Notch.
Happy jamming Ted!
tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 61.0 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 61% and falling;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear with sun;
There is movement of air, but no recorded air speed;
There is minimal flow of the Cascades;
There is minimal flow in both channels of the Cascades Brook;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 76. North wind 5 to 9 mph.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sunny, Humid, Summer Morning, with a Breeze

As with any hot, humid summer day, there is a small chance of a thunderstorm.

Sorry for the gaps in updates. As it isn't the school season the normal pattern of mornings was lost and along with it the time to get this out. We will try to get this back in order again!


WORK PROJECT TONIGHT!

Tonight we are looking to start work on a trail stile to allow movement of hikers and keep safe the livestock at Donker Farm. We will be meeting at the Donker Farm trailhead on Tory Fort Lane at 5:00 p.m., having some pizza, and getting digging by at the latest 5:30 p.m.!


TED'S AT TREK!!

Ted is in the White Mountain National Forest, has summited Mount Moosilauke, and was headed for the Kinsmans! Follow Ted here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions at 9:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 74.7 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 70% and falling;
Pressure is 29.85" of Hg and steady;
Skies are hazzy with sun;
Wind is stirring;
The Cascades have low flow;
The Cascades Brook has low flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm.
Partly sunny, with a high near 83.
Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Monday, July 06, 2015

A Fine Day Starts With Birds Chirping

Another fine day begins with sun and bird chirpping!

It is a fantastic day to be outside, and as tomorrow will have occasional isolated thunderstorms, this is the better of the two days to head out for a hike!


BEAR IN NICK'S WOODS

Last night we had a report come in from Nick's Woods (between Holden Street and Grove Street (122A)) of a black bear!

This is exciting, but it also means that for the time being early morning and late evening walks at Nick's Woods are not advised.


TED IS CLOSE TO FINISHING VERMONT

Ted's Trek up the AT had him past Killington and well on his way to the New Hampshire border!

Follow Ted's Trek here! tedatgwlt@blogspot.com


Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 66.9 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 92% and steady;
Pressure is 30.03" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
The air is still;
There is flow on the Cascades;
There is flow in both channels of the Cascades Brook;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. 

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Sunny, Cool Morning!

Hope that everyone had a great 4th of July!
Today is another magnificent day for hiking!
This week is going to get warmer, so savor the cool start!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:45 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 63 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear and sunny;
The wind is stirring and up to 1.0 mph;
The Cascades have flow;
The Cascades Brook has flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 81. West wind 6 to 8 mph.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Perfect Summer's Day

This morning is positively gorgeous out there!
Sunny, Clear, Cool, Breezy.

This is the beautiful weather after the storm, only, the storm was pretty weird here.
We had a tropical downpour in the afternoon, but that was pretty much it for precipitation.
Last night the sky was full of clouds and the colors yellow, orange, pink radiated through the cloud formations as sunset mover to dusk, and elsewhere the storms brought rain, wind, and damage, but here they brought nothing but beautiful cloud formations and colors.
The local internet was absolutely full of pictures of the sky folks were taking.
You can't tell New Englanders are obsessed with weather!


Ted's Trek on the AT

Ted's post from yesterday was a brief reflection of being on the trail for 100 days of hiking, camping, and weather.
To follow Ted as he hikes north through Massachusetts here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Coes Beach Family Festival

Also, there will be a festival this Saturday just downstream on the Tatnuck from us around Coes Reservoir from noon to 5pm. There will be kayak and paddleboard rentals, the Knights of Columbus will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers, there will be birding with MassAudubon, there will be a guided hike, among other family activities. For more information contact parent.rogerr@gmail.com 


Sign & Tiberhewing Tomorrow

Tomorrow, is our regularly scheduled sign work and timber hewing at Cascading Waters from 9-12. Come by Olean Street to join in! For more information contact colin@gwlt.org


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 65.5 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 74% and steady;
Pressure is 29.80" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring and topping out at 1.0 mph;
Skies are clear and sunny;
Cascades have flow;
Cascades Brook has flow in both channels;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 82.
Northwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dirty Weather Coming

When a storm is expected at sea, there is an expression that the weather is turning "dirty."
The low light and clouds this morning distinctly give that impression about today.



Cook's Pond, which is as still as glass, despite the movement of the air, reflects the clouds, and just now, as I write this, it has started to rain.
None of that captures what is predicted for this afternoon though.

This afternoon could be rainy, or it could be epic.
A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY
EVENING ACROSS MUCH OF CONNECTICUT...MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE
ISLAND. THE GREATEST RISK IS ACROSS CONNECTICUT...WESTERN AND
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS TO JUST NORTHWEST OF PROVIDENCE AND BOSTON.
THESE STORMS WILL LIKELY CONTAIN DAMAGING WINDS CAPABLE OF
KNOCKING DOWN TREES AND POWERLINES RESULTING IN POTENTIAL POWER
OUTAGES. THESE STORMS WILL IMPACT MUCH OF CONNECTICUT...WESTERN-
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS BETWEEN NOON AND 5 PM...
 
OTHER POTENTIAL HAZARDS WITH THESE STORMS INCLUDE LARGE HAIL...A
VERY LOW RISK OF AN ISOLATED TORNADO ALONG WITH TORRENTIAL
DOWNPOURS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING.
 
If you want to know what the difference will be between rain and this intense storm prospect, the answer is simply How Much Sun Do We Get Today. More sun equals more atmospheric instability, equals more storm potential.

THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR A SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK
THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING...BUT WILL DEPEND ON HOW MUCH
SUNSHINE DEVELOPS AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT. IF ENOUGH SUNSHINE
OCCURS...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WIND GUSTS AND LARGE HAIL. ISOLATED WIND
GUSTS OF 70+ MPH OR EVEN HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF GOLFBALLS WOULD BE
A POSSIBILITY. IN ADDITION...AN ISOLATED TORNADO OR TWO MAY OCCUR.

THE HIGHEST RISK FOR SEVERE WEATHER TUESDAY IS BETWEEN 2 AND 8 PM
ALONG AND NORTHWEST OF A BOSTON TO PROVIDENCE LINE...BUT CAN NOT
BE RULED OUT ACROSS SOUTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS. STORMS SHOULD BE
MOVING FAST ENOUGH TO PREVENT FLASH FLOODING...BUT HEAVY RAIN MAY
RESULT IN BRIEF POOR DRAINAGE STREET FLOODING.

Stay tuned and be careful, eh?


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.1 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring but not registering in mph;
Skies are cloudy (rain started just after observations);
The Cascades have some flow;
The Cascades Brook has some flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then thunderstorms likely after 2pm.
Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning.
Partly sunny, with a high near 85.
Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 14 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.
Winds could gust as high as 36 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 60%.
New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cascades are Running!

So, all of that crazy rain we had Saturday night and Sunday have the Cascades running!
The sound of crashing water fills the woods!
The brooks are burbling away noisily!
Mushrooms have popped up everywhere!
This is summer in the forest!

Our favorite scrap metal hauler dropped by this morning to pick up some heavy gauge material we pulled from a property. Thanks Michelle!


Ted's AT Trek

Ted has made it to Massachusetts!
His last trek had him going through the jungle downpours and Great Barrington is next on deck!
Follow his travels here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 69.8 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 81% and falling;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and rising;
Skies are clear;
Things are breezy, topping out at 2.5 mph in the observation period;
The Cascades are running!
The Cascades Brook is burbling away in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.
Northwest wind around 10 mph.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Breezy, Cool, and Low Light Morning

It is a Breezy, Cool, and Low Light Morning here at Cascades.
Honestly, it is about as nice for hiking as you could hope for!
Be aware that there is a low probability storm rolling through after 11 a.m.

This Sunday will be the Solstice, the longest day of the year.
It seems only fitting that this should be embraced and celebrated by those of us who live, play, and work outdoors.
Put it on your calendar!
Go for a hike!
Camp!
Watch the sun set into twilight!

Otherwise things are calm out there on Trust lands and trails, and a lot of office work is going on behind the scenes.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 64.8 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 83% and steady;
Pressure is 29.71" of Hg and steady;
Wind is steady between 1.0-1.5 mph;
Sky is partly cloudy and hazy;
The Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers, mainly between 11am and 3pm.
Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 81.
Northwest wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

It's a Fine Day

It's a Fine Day

Two roses have bloomed out on the wall.

The weather is cool, clear, and pleasant.

There is no rain in the forecast.

What more could you ask for really?


Earlier this week, Volunteer and Board Director Mike Peckar replaced the planking on the bridge at Pine Glen in West Boylston. While he was at it he cleared some vegetation from the trail and got rid of the trash! This is all great!
Thank you Mike!

 BEFORE


AFTER

Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 59.4 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 60% and falling;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind varies and tops out at 1 mph;
Skies are partially cloudy, and partially clear;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The Cascades is flowing;
The USFS Fire Danger is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Partly sunny, with a high near 76.
Southwest wind 6 to 9 mph.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Donker Farm Sheep Shearing!

Worcester Farm Life!
Yesterday the sheep were shorn at Donker Farm!




Mr. Kevin Ford, famous for his hand shearing (and an author to boot!) was out at Donker Farm to give the sheep a spring trim!

Thank you to Elisabeth Donker for capturing these images and sharing them with the rest of us who were not able to be present for the event!

Take note as you look at eh pictures! Those are blade shears! This is the traditional method!
There are videos, articles and news pieces on his handicraft!

Kevin is the author of "Shearing Day: Sheep Handling, Wool Science, and Shearing With Blades"

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Damp, Overcast, Yet Pleasant!

So, yesterday's rains have certainly soaked the world. Good luck finding a dry spot!
But it isn't raining presently, the air is pleasantly cool, the air is so still that Cook's Pond is a perfect mirror, and the greens are astounding.
Here and there you will find mushrooms that popped up, encouraged by the overcast rainy weather.
It is a nice morning to be outside!

This afternoon promises to be more exciting, with possible heavy rains and thunderstorms!
Plan your trips and your gear accordingly!

The National Weather Service Warning for today is kinda fun!
THE MAIN THREATS WILL BE LOCALLY GUSTY WINDS AND HEAVY RAINFALL.
LOCALIZED HEAVY RAINFALL MAY RESULT IN SOME NUISANCE POOR-DRAINAGE
STREET FLOODING.

THERE IS A LOW PROBABILITY FOR A VERY LOCALIZED...MORE SIGNIFICANT
FLOOD EVENT...IF ANY THUNDERSTORMS CAN TRAIN OVER A SPECIFIC
LOCATION IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS OR NORTHERN CONNECTICUT.


Ted's AT Trek

Ted was finding it hard to pull together the urgency to pack up in the dry shelter and walk out into the wall of rain yesterday morning.
Theoretically he was about a day's walk from Connecticut and we will see how he made out!
www.tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 57.6 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 93% and steady;
Pressure is 29.80" of Hg and steady;
Wind is still;
Skies are overcast;
The Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook has flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Isolated showers between noon and 1pm, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 1pm.
Some of the storms could produce heavy rain.
Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 77.
Light and variable wind becoming southwest 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
Chance of precipitation is 40%.
New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Rain! Solid Rain!

Rain!
We sure needed rain, and we are getting it!

That being said, it has been raining long enough and hard enough where there is isolated ponding on the trails where there is a low spot, and the soils are soft and will become more muddy with traffic.

Still, the water table, the brooks, the vegetation, and the gardens all needed this rain badly so so be it.


TED ON THE AT TREK

Ted made it to Bear Mountain State Park in New York, and that meant a family reunion and Ted being part of the Northeast again. Welcome back!
Soon enough Ted will be hiking into and across Massachusetts.
Follow Ted's adventures here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at 7:30 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 58.1 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 77% and steady;
The pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
The skies are cloudy with rain falling;
The wind is stirring but not registering;
The Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Showers, mainly before 2pm.
High near 59.
East wind 6 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 100%.
New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.