Cooks Canyon and
Ware River Rail Trail

Barre, MA

September 22nd, 2013

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Cook's Canyon Sanctuary Skies brightened quickly once an early morning rainstorm had moved offshore, and our afternoon turned out to be gorgeous weather for hiking Mass Audubon's Cook's Canyon Wildlife Sanctuary in Barre. Our trip was the Outing Club's first time ever at Cook's Canyon, so the nine of us were eager to hit the trails.
Stefanie, Kaitlyn, Allison, and Emma Galloway Brook Stefanie, Kaitlyn, Allison, and Emma give a collective nod of approval as we hike alongside Galloway Brook on the Cook's Canyon trail.
Allison, Katie, Tasos and Maria Crossing Galloway Brook to reach the Wildwood Trail loop was a bit tricky, but after some trial and error we eventually found a good spot. Allison, Katie, Tasos and Maria successfully make their way across.
Descending the ravine On the Wildwood Trail, our crew hikes down the ravine toward the Galloway Brook waterfall.
waterfall Thanks to the overnight rainstorm, the waterfall had plenty of fuel.

Once our Wildwood Trail loop was complete, we cimbed up to the lookout for an elevated view of the brook and waterfall from the opposite side, and found a nice spot on the rocks for our group photo.
Galloway Brook from above
Tasos Emma Tasos is on the rocks... thinking. And Emma is, well, just being Emma!
Ware River The Cook's Canyon trails were relatively short, so we hit the nearby Ware River Rail Trail when we were done. This was our first look at the beautiful Ware River from an area adjacent to the trail. It felt was very secluded and picturesque.

Mugsy (our mascot) is perched on a stone wall above the river as the rest of us enjoy the view from the riverbank.
Group above the riverbank
Rail Trail
Back on the Rail Trail, Emma is being a frog!

After about 2 miles on the rail trail, we came upon a small cemetery in the middle of nowhere. We followed the dirt road past the cemetery and encountered a tiny turtle with a panda bear face that we all loved.
Maria, Kaitlyn and Katie The dirt road led us down to the Ware River at a spot just below where the Burnshirt River joins it, and where a covered bridge once stood. Maria, Kaitlyn and Katie check out the riverbank. Across the river, fall colors were starting to bloom.
Ware River
Rail Trail Eventually we pry ourselves away from the river and continue our hike. The sun is getting lower in the sky as we retrace our steps two miles back along the Rail Trail and wrap up our fun-filled Sunday afternoon adventure.

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