Saturday, August 14, 2010

Salamanders Ho! Granville State Forest, Granville, MA

We are Department of Conservation and Resources (DCR) junkies.  I hate to admit it, but they put together a good party.  At our home base on Lake Cochituate they remove trees from your dock if a winter storm wanders by.  They maintain pristine beaches and beautiful lakes with flair.  They provide clear and accessible maps online and at each site.  I have visited a lot of state parks in my day, and I must say DCR rocks!

We set-up camp in the Berkshires this summer in Granville with dad and his longtime companion Allison.  This town is a small, former farming community near the Connecticut border, and our stay in Wildwood has been dreamy.  Swimming all day, fishing early and often and paddling our hearts out.  We went for a little change of pace this morning by starting with a hike, and the boys couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Every twist and turn of these well-maintained trails was littered with red spotted salamanders (they are both scientists, so we learned that this was like the tadpole stage of newts).  Last night, we were lucky to skip another night in the tent because it was two inches deep in water when we awoke.  But what a bonanza for the wildlife!  These salamanders crossed us at every turn.  Little peeper frogs hopped across the trail in droves.  There were so many types of fungus, my dad (or Mr. Wizard as they used to call him) couldn’t even keep up with all of Sydney’s questions.  So when you are done riding horses at Undermountain Farms, or splashing at Play Bosquet come on out to Granville for a taste of the wild.