The nearest access to the path is via a tiny parking lot on the corner of Hillside Street and Chickatawbut Road, with room for perhaps a dozen cars. (I was the last.) A sign warns to stay on the path due to the fragile nature of the ecosystem. This is one of the less traveled parts of the reservation: though it was Labor Day, I met only a handful of hikers (and a couple of horsewomen) over the course of almost three hours.
"Braintree Pass Path 3 miles easy (2 to 2.5 hours)
This hike is one of the gems of the reservation. The trail passes by stands of majestic hemlocks, slopes covered with mountain laurel, and an Atlantic cedar swamp. An old cellar hole along the way marks the Glover Homestead where settlers farmed hundreds of years ago. The trail begins at the intersection of Rt. 28 and Chickatawbut Rd. Park in the small pull-off and walk by the bulletin board down the Braintree Pass Path. After passing intersection 3072 take the next trail that bears left and follow it downhill to intersection 3121. Go left again and follow the path skirting the swamp to your right. Return to Braintree Pass Path via Bouncing Brook Path." -Ranger Tom's Suggested Hikes
A low-bush blueberry; a huckleberry developing a little fall color.
Panicled hawkweed (Hieracium paniculatum).
Late low-bush blueberry.
Yellow stargrass (Hypoxis hirsuta) adds delicate color.
I love the delicate white-veined leaves of Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens).
Rattlesnake weed (Hieracium venosum) is a hawkweed with hairy basal leaves veined with purple.
Miniature landscapes of mosses.
Sweetfern (Comptonia perigrina) --not a fern but a relative of bayberry--perfumes the path.
A grass I cannot identify.
Goldenrods come into their own on a sunny hillside.
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) developing its fall color.
An interesting grass.
Lichens found on rocks, tree bark, and sometimes the ground are each a partnership between
an alga and a fungus. This particular type, called rock tripe, is supposed to be good stewed.
I find it unappetizing.
The same scene, in panoramic and regular dimensions.
A bulrush (actually a sedge): Scirpus somethingorother.
This pretty dragonfly belongs to a genus called the meadowhawks. The species is uncertain.