Hike of Hodges Village Dam

Oxford, MA

September 30th, 2012

When spring rain and meltwater overwhelm the French River, Hodges Village Dam retains much of that water in a flood plain which protects towns and cities downstream. And when the plain is not flooded, hiking trails abound through a rich and diverse habitat of swamps, meadows, and forests.

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Group And so the six of us set out to explore those very trails. We started from atop the dam, which was built by the Army Corps of Engineers, and proceeded north along the river's east bank.
The overcast skies shed just a few raindrops but didn't dampen our spirits or the vibrancy of the fall foliage colors.

You might think the dampness of the river basin would be a haven for mushrooms of all varieties and colors. Well, you'd be right! We even encountered some that were about a foot in size.
Foot-sized mushroom

There were animals too... a really cool turtle alongside the trail and some frogs chillin' out in a mud puddle.

Turtle Frog
Tom, Rebecca and Jingbang hike down one of the few hills on our trip along a side trail that was a little more secluded, and one of our favorites. It led back to a main trail which crossed the French River on a foot bridge.
French River
Group on bridge Jake, Thomas, Jingbang, Rebecca and Tom occupy the foot bridge.
River beneath bridge The French River flows beneath the foot bridge.
Skipping stones across pond At the end of our hike we found ourselves at Hodges Village Pond, just beneath the dam. Jake gave us an impressive stone-skipping display across the pond, with more rapid-fire hops than we could possibly count.

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