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The Norwood Mill Pond Trails Review
I expected these trails to be just a bit of exercise on the way to something better, at best. I figured they’re probably just on property that no one can build a subdivision on. I mean … come on ! They’re accessed from the town dump ! Are you kidding me ?
Well, no, they weren’t kidding me. And I’m not kidding you when I say this (sadly short) set of trails are gorgeous. When we tried to get to the trailhead parking lot in mid May, we couldn’t because … the dump was closed. I kid you not ! The trailhead parking lot is on the other side of the dump gates. HA ! This link will open Google Maps at the parking lot (outside the town dump gates, just in case): https://goo.gl/maps/MJZBe8d19sdLVMGE7
Well, we were there for a walk anyway, so we parked in the lot outside the gates and walked around them. The first trail we came to, seemed to indicate a dog park as the sign showed a dog on a leash with a walker. We walked a very short distance to a riverbank. A rather pretty riverbank, but that was it. This trail doesn’t show on the map so I’m not sure it’s even sanctioned.
As we continued up the road, we crossed another river (or maybe the same one, I couldn’t tell). The Yellow trail showed up next, so we walked it to the “open green space” on County Rd #40. This trail has a short stretch of fake forest (plantation pines) but is mostly mixed woods and open air meadows. There’s a bridge over the river again just as the trail emerges onto Cty Rd #40.
We turned back at the bridge and continued taking the Yellow trail across a sunny meadow to a very pretty view of the river again.
Then we took the Orange trail to the trailhead parking, and down to the Blue trail. On the blue trail we passed what was obviously an ATV paradise, but I noticed the high banks the ATVs had been climbing and thought there might be a type of lookout from up there. We climbed up and, sure enough, there was a surprisingly nice view from up there, though a little obscured by shrubbery and such.
From up there, we noticed a proper lookout just further along the Blue trail. It had a picnic table, and an unimpeded view of the mill pond. This lookout came as quite a surprise as, from the town, I didn’t notice the height of land we were standing on. So, it was quite unexpected. There’s only the one table, but it would’ve made a lovely spot for a picnic.
We returned to the Orange trail, and followed it down a gentle slope to the Mill Pond for another view, but from shoreline level this time.
The Final Take
These trails are unfortunately very short, as they were beautiful. The trails are all wide enough for two to walk side by side and are very clearly marked. There is a lovely lookout over the mill pond, complete with picnic table and another view of the pond at water level. There are a coupla rest benches along the trails as well. With the exception of a small tract of plantation forest, the wooded areas are mixed and canopied, and there are lots of open air, sunny meadows too.
Though there is a parking lot at the trailhead, we were quite pleased with approaching the trails by walking from the first parking area. Other than ample parking, rest benches, and a picnic table, there are no facilities, and leashed dog walking is permitted. Yes, the road to the trailhead continues on to the town transfer facility, but I can’t imagine Norwood being a major hub of waste management and handling.
These trails are right on the North end of town with Highway #7 passing close by, and there are bound to be some typical town noises. Yet, I can’t say as I really noticed anything annoying (which is rare for me to say). In fact, after leaving the lookout and on our way down to the pond, I stopped, looked around and shouted “Holy Crap Norwood ! … this is NICE !”
Have a nice walk,
Addendum : If Norwood is too far a drive for your likings, might I suggest you combine the trip with a visit to The Brookwood Wildlife Area just 10 minutes North of Norwood ? You could walk Brookwood, and then head back down to Norwood for a picnic at the Mill Pond lookout.