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.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Flurries, Deer, & Ted

The deer bed down on the south face of the major island in Cook's Pond last night, and 14 could be counted this morning, with a few of the deer still bedded, and a few walking around on the island. There has been a quiet debate over the presence of the deer out on the ice this winter. At present the two main theories are that they are seeking food in the buds of the vegetation on the water's edge due to scarcity elsewhere with the deep snow pack, and/or they are seeking refuge from coywolves using the large expanse of ice as a defense zone.  

If you have a theory drop us a line! gwlt@gwlt.org

Also, there is a new blog in town!
Ted's AT Trek!
http://tedatgwlt.blogspot.com/

Ted Randich is a Worcester resident, a Clark University student, and he is headed out to hit the Appalachian Trail on March 14th, just 9 days from now.
GWLT is sponsoring Ted's quest to hike the A.T. (including quality GWLT logo wear) and his hike has an academic/philosophical twist. He is studying geography with a particular eye towards "cultural" (man-made) aspects of the landscape, and "natural" aspect of the landscape, and their interplay out on the trail.

Ted will be sending in updates to GWLT from the trail that we will be posting on his behalf. We wish him Godspeed in his trek, and we hope to share his adventures with the GWLT community.

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

Temperature is 30.2 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 56% and rising;
Pressure is 29.80" of Hg and rising;
No reading, but there is air movement registering;
Presently experiencing flurries;
Grey overcast skies;
Cascades are buried in snow and ice;
Cascades Brook is largely covered with some open spots;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!

National Weather Service Forecast:

Today: A chance of snow, mainly before 2pm. Cloudy, with a high near 24. Northwest wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Winter Weather Storms: Next Up!

Another storm is inbound for this evening.
This one will be a real mess!
Inches of snow, followed by ice, followed by rain and above melting temperatures.
Meanwhile, right now, things here are stable, and sunny.
There is still a window of good weather before the craziness breaks loose!
Enjoy!

Last night the Worcester Conservation Commission approved and signed the Conservation Restriction for the Donker Farm Project, bringing us one step closer to completion!
The next stop is tonight's City Council Meeting for the acceptance of a contribution of $114,000 from the Greater Worcester Land Trust towards the project cost, matching a contribution of $114,000 from the City that was approved at last week's City Council Meeting.
We are getting close!

The herd of deer have become a resident fixture on frozen Cook's Pond and are frequently seen out there in numbers, particularly near the end of the day.

7:00 a.m. Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 6.1 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 55% and steady;
Pressure is 30.15" of Hg and steady;
The wind speed is presently registering no movement;
The skies are blue with sun;
The Cascades are buried in snow and ice;
The Cascades Brook have patches that are open;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!

National Weather Service Forecast:

TODAY: Snow likely, mainly after 5pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 28. Light and variable wind becoming south 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

TONIGHT: Rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 4am, then a chance of rain and sleet between 4am and 5am, then a chance of freezing rain and sleet after 5am. Patchy fog between 3am and 4am. Temperature rising to around 33 by 2am. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Monday, March 02, 2015

A Fresh Blanket of Snow

The parking area is OPEN.

We only received a few inches of snow last night, perhaps somewhere between 2-4" depending upon where you look, so there was some wind to move it around.

What this means is that there is a fresh blanket of snow to make everything beautiful BUT not so much as to negate the snow packed tracks on the trails. If I were heading out I would throw on a pair of gaiters to keep the fluffy snow from getting kicked up around boot tops and cuffs.

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

The temperature is 25.7 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 76% and steady;
The pressure is 29.74" of Hg and falling;
There is a breeze that topped out at 0.5 mph in the observation period;
Blue skies with mixed clouds;
The Cascades are still buried in snow and ice;
The Cascades Brooks have patches of open water;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!

National Weather Service Forecast:

Partly sunny, with a high near 34.
West wind 8 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.
(Note, those winds may be observed in the higher hills of the Cascades, but will be much reduced by the trailhead.)

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Storm Inbound!

Storm Inbound!

Right now it is looking like 4-8" of snow are headed our way, mainly accumulating between 4pm and 3am. There will be a few flakes much earlier than that, maybe even some this morning, but they should probably be nothing to worry over until the storm really starts cooking!

This means that this is the last shot at hitting trails that have open trailheads, parking, and packed tracks to follow. As of tomorrow morning we are all going to have to open up access and blaze our own tracks all over again.

7:00 a.m. Cascading Waters Trailhead (Elev. 630') Conditions:

The Temperature is 9.9 degrees F rising;
The Humidity is 46% steady;
The Pressure is 30.42" of Hg and steady;
The Wind speed is dead calm;
Grey skies in the early morning light;
The Parking Area is OPEN;
The Cascades are largely buried in snow and ice;
The Cascades Brook is increasingly open in patches and covered elsewhere;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!

National Weather Service Forecast:

Daytime:
Snow, mainly after 4pm. High near 26. Southwest wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Night-time:
Snow, mainly before 3am. Low around 23. Southwest wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunny & Cold Again!!!!

More of our current patter, Sunny and Cold,
BUT a storm is rolling in Sunday night with the potential for 4-6"!
Enjoy the peace and calm outside RIGHT NOW!

9:00 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature is 19.8 degrees F and rising (was 8 degrees when we got up);
Pressure is 45% and steady;
Humidity is 30.53" and rising;
Blue Skies;
Wind is moving and peaked at 1 mph in the observation period;
The Cascades are buried;
The Cascades Brook has some open patches;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 25. West wind 5 to 7 mph.

But more interestingly:
Winter Storm Watch in effect from March 1, 04:00 PM EST until March 2, 06:00 AM EST

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sunny & Cold (One of a Series!)

Well, we seem to be in a pattern of cold and sunny, for the most part.
It was enjoyable to see flakes falling yesterday, though nothing came of the passing snow.

This morning the T&G has a fun article on fishers!
http://www.telegram.com/article/20150226/NEWS/302269512/1116This is enjoyable in that a number of the Trust's properties are know to have these large weasels. It is nice to be able to highlight the species without all of the wild tales of wickedness.

7:30 a.m. trailhead conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature is 10.4 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 51% and steady;
Pressure is 30.06" and rising;
There is movement of wind in the air, but no mph recorded during the observation period;
The sky is blue and the sun is out;
The Cascades remain buried in the snow;
The Cascades Brook has a few open patches here and there;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

Many of the trails have been snowshoed and are passable, and most of the trailheads have seen some activity and have parking. This weekend presents an opportunity to see and experience long term snowpack in a way that we rarely see here in central Massachusetts.

National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 21.
Wind chill values as low as zero.
Northwest wind around 7 mph.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunny and Cold, But Not As Cold!

Well, things are looking up!
We are starting the day in positive degrees!
And with the sun out, things are bound to warm up a little.
The only catch will be the predicted winds, and the wind chills.

Last night at the Worcester City Council, the City Council unanimously approved the funds transfer for the Donker Farm Project!
We are another important step closer to seeing this conserved!

Yesterday we observed 4 deer out on frozen Cook's Pond headed for the main island, and it looks like they were browsing on buds and bark.

7:30 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature of 14.5 degrees F and rising;
Humidity of 65% and steady;
Pressure of 29.50" and falling;
Wind is moving with an average of 1-1.5 mph and a peak of 2.5 mph in the observation period;
The Cascades are covered;
The Cascades Brook is mostly covered with patches breaking through;
Sunny blue skies;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

National Weather Service Forecast for Today:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 27. West wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Settling in to Our Arctic Reality...

Well, it is still mighty cold, and it appears it will be so for some time yet. Nevertheless, the world keeps turning, and stuff gets done!

Our mighty Volunteer Conservation Ranger for KinneyWoods, Ranger Tim, had been laid low by a ridiculously rare skiing accident way back at the beginning of this winter. Ranger Tim, however, is the embodiment of an irrepressible soul! Through some amazing ingenuity and a will like an ox, he has managed to snowblow an access point and trailhead path for KinneyWoods, from a wheelchair!

Photos are in order!




Also, last night at dusk, there were ten to twelve deer out on frozen Cook's Pond! To see so many together in such a visible spot at once was a rare treat!

7:30 a.m. trailhead conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature is -3.8°F and rising (it was -8.1° at 6:30!);
Humidity is 37% and steady;
Pressure is 30.00" and steady;
Skies are sunny with high altitude clouds;
Winds are stirring, and peaked at 1.5 mph during the observation period;
The Cascades are still buried;
The Cascades Brook has open patches; &
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!

If you are headed out please bundle up and cover exposed skin.

ALSO, a joint City, State, Donker Family, GWLT project is in today's paper!

Monday, February 23, 2015

More Arctic Tundra!

That's right folks! MORE Arctic Tundra!

7:30 a.m. Cascades Trailhead conditions:

Temperature is 19.9 degrees F and falling (and visibly falling in the last hour by several degrees);
Humidity is 48% and steady;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
The Cascades Brook appreciated the melting yesterday and there are a few open patches of water out there;
The Cascades themselves are still more or less buried;
The wind is persistent and we saw a 5.0 mph peak in the observation period;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!

The seasonal snow total is now 108.5"!!!
And best of all, because the temperature profile was colder, we never transitioned to rain.
So... We get to keep ALL of our snowpack!

FORECAST from the National Weather Service for today:

Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 15.
(Here is the "killer" part...)
Wind chill values as low as -8. Northwest wind 14 to 16 mph.
(Though it is more sheltered down here by the Lodge and we tend not to see those wind peaks.)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cold, and a Storm Coming!

There is another storm inbound, due to hit this afternoon! Before it is over we may have 4-7" of snow, topped by who knows what mix of ice, rain, freezing rain, or more snow. Everything comes down to temperature profiles.

This is the time to get out there and make the most of the snows and weather move in.

Remember that...
The Cascades trailhead on Olean Street is open with parking;
The Sibley Farm trailhead on Greenville Street in Spencer is open with parking; and
The KinneyWoods trailhead on Dawson Road in Worcester is open with parking.

Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 9:00a.m.:

Temperature of 14.2°F and rising;
Humidity of 46% and steady;
Pressures of 30.24" of Hg and steady;
Variable windspeed with a 2.5 mph max;
Bright overcast skies;
Cascades are buried in snow;
Cascades Brook is buried in snow;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

NWS Daytime Forecast:
Snow, mainly after 3pm. High near 26. Wind chill values as low as zero. Southwest wind 6 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Friday, February 20, 2015

WINDY, Sunny, COLD

8:35 a.m. Trailhead Conditions:

Temperature is 4.1 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 46% and steady;
Pressure is 29.68" of Hg and rising;
The wind speed is hovering around 3.0-3.5 mph with gusts as high as 10.5 mph in the sample period;
The Cascades are buried in snow;
The Cascades Brook is buried in snow;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE, quite obviously!

It is worth noting that our location at the Tatnuck Valley floor is sheltered from the wind and you should expect higher winds in the Cascades, and especially up on Cascades West and if you are elsewhere on the Asnebumskit Ridge Trail or East Side Trail between Bell Pond and the Quarry!

Today's weather prediction from the NWS is:
Sunny, with a high near 12. Wind chill values as low as -16. West wind 14-16 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sunny Start with a Chance of Snow

A sunny start, but an inch of snow is predicted to fall this afternoon!

9:20 a.m. trailhead conditions:

Temperature is 26.1°F and rising;
Humidity is 58% and falling;
Pressure is 29.41" Hg and steady;
The Cascades are buried in snow;
The Cascades brook is also buried;
Wind is stirring, but 1mph is all we are peaking at;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE, of course.

Today's National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of snow showers, mainly between noon and 2pm.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 21. Wind chill values as low as -3. West wind 9 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Quiet Day

A Quiet Day weatherwise here at the trailhead at Cascading Waters.

9:00 a.m. Trailhead Conditions:

13.3 degrees F and rising;
36% humidity and steady;
29.74" of Hg pressure and steady;
No wind registered on the anemometer, though there is movement;
The sky is overcast;
The Cascades Brooks and falls are both buried;
The USFS Fire Danger is, quite obviously, NONE at all!

The Parking Area is open!
There has been a little activity out on the trail.
The snowshoeing is spectacular!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Frigid

Welcome to the tundra!
At 9:20 am, it is 5.5 degrees and rising. 
We have a constant wind, maxing out here at 8.5 MPH. Together, that means we're getting windchill in the double digits below zero. 
45% humidity and steady
The barometer is 29.74 inches of mercury and rising under clear blue skies. 
It's bright and sunny!
The brook and the Cascades are not visible. 
And yes, there is NO fire danger!
Stay warm!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Another Blizzard Winds Down...

As Another Blizzard Winds Down...

The sun has come out &

The Visitor Parking Area is OPEN!

The snows are deep!
It is all powder!
This is the Snowshoeing Heaven you will tell your grand-kids about!

Make sure you have a tight hood or balaclava to protect your face from the wind if you head out there!