Hutchinson Hill Road

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The entrance to Hutchinson Hill Road is just before the bridge over the Spaulding Brook on North Mason Road, as approached from Route 13. Generally, the trail is easy to walk.  Vegetation is mainly pine and  hemlock, with ground cover of lady slipper, trailing arbutus, rattlesnake plantain and polygala.

At the 2/10 mile point, there is a trail to the left that leads to a wide and swampy section of Spaulding Brook. Look for the remnants of a cottage on the bank. The next quarter mile is punctuated with evidence of logging and wet lowlands comprised of a series of beaver dams and ponds. Less traveled roads to the left go toward the Spaulding and Hutchinson brooks but don't  quite reach them before turning back to rejoin Hutchinson Hill Road. A trail to the right at just over the half-mile mark leads to old railroad beds. This trek would make a fine short hike in itself, especially for those interested in the scattered cellar holes along the way.

Farther down Hutchinson Hill Road there is a fork, well-traveled in both directions. Make note of the "neighborhood" a cluster of cellar holes strategically placed at the fork with a good view overlooking a large wetlands area.  Geological survey maps indicate this series of dams and ponds to be Babb Brook, which originates in Mason.  The left at this fork leads down to the water.  Though the trail is often difficult to cross on foot (depending on the water level) birders and naturalists might find it worthwhile to brave the bugs and brush to reach the peninsula on the right and enjoy the panoramic view of the marshes and lowlands. This trail, after heading west a short way, rejoins Hutchinson Hill Road.

Bear right at the fork instead, to stay on the main road. At the mile point it begins to wash out considerably and starts to climb. There is a maze of trails leading from it as it progresses into Milford under power lines and alongside quarries.   Note, however, that the end points in Milford, Ball Hill and Osgood Roads, are posted and closed.

Total walking distance, with a possible side excursion, is close to 2.5 miles round trip.

(From Our Place, July 1994)