A Walk Through the Parklands
Hopedale Street to the First Bridge
are the beach and the bathhouse. The beach was created in 1899 and the bathhouse
was built in 1904. Swimmers were required to sign in before going into the pond and
sign out when leaving. Pond attendance peaked at 18,387 in 1968. Up to 1952, the
pond extended almost to the road, just north of the bathhouse, but it was a very
shallow, swampy area, and was filled in that year.
Walking on a little further, you'll see the Willard Taft marker. Willard lived nearby, at 90
Dutcher Street, and spent a great deal of time in the Parklands. In 1987, a logging
operation was done with the intent of improving the area. Instead, it created something
of a mess and a bit of a controversy. Many trees along the roadside still show the scars
that were left. After the job ended, Willard spent a large amount of time cleaning up
what had been left there. The Park Department website states, " A major brush and
deadwood clearing operation in the Parklands was halted when the forestry agent
representing the town resigned, leaving behind a mess of slash and debris of
Shortly after entering the woods, there's a fork in the road. The main road goes to the
right and the other path goes to the First Fireplace. It continues through the picnic area
and rejoins the main road near the Dutcher Street entrance road.
Wildflowers in this area include blue-eyed grass, within a few feet of entering the
wooded area, a patch of moneywort near the intersection of the Dutcher Street
entrance road and the main road, and wild geraniums along the Dutcher Street
entrance road. The shore here, as it is along most of the pond, is lined mainly with
blueberry bushes and sweet pepperbush. Alder, red maple and honeysuckle are also
common. Elsewhere in the area, beech, white pine, red maple, witch hazel, wild black
cherry, several species of oak, gray birch and black birch can be found. There are a
few larches on the grassy area between the bathhouse and the woods.
The small bridge with the fieldstone sides, a very short distance north of where the
Dutcher Street entrance road meets the main road, was built in 1930, replacing an
earlier one at that location. The brook that flows under it begins behind my house at 49
Inman Street. It goes south behind the next four houses, then turns west, just before
Tammy Road. At this point it is piped under several yards and under Inman and Dutcher
streets, emerging just west of Dutcher Street, alongside the Parklands entrance road.
Next page: First Bridge to the Second Fireplace Sports, Park and Pond Menu
History of the Parklands by Gordon Hopper Parklands Map - 1904
Parklands Trails Info 1913 Map Wildflowers of Hopedale HOME
Shortly after entering the woods, when entering the Parklands by the
Hopedale Street/Bathhouse entrance, you'll come to a fork in the road. To the
right is the main road. The path to the left goes through the First Fireplace
area and continues on, rejoining the main road a few hundred yards on.
The road to the right, near the middle of the picture, is the
Dutcher Street entrance road. The main road goes to the left.