Mill Pond Park
Nestled in the heart of Ashland, Massachusetts, lies a hidden gem that promises tranquility, natural beauty, and endless recreational opportunities: Mill Pond Park. This picturesque destination is a testament to the town's commitment to preserving its natural landscapes while providing a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, families, and wildlife lovers. Join us as we embark on a virtual journey through Ashland's Mill Pond Park and discover why it's a must-visit for locals and tourists alike.
A Historical Gem
Before we dive into the park's attractions, let's take a moment to appreciate its historical significance. Mill Pond Park is located on the site of the former Ashland Paper Company mill, which played a vital role in the town's industrial history during the 19th century. Today, the park stands as a symbol of the town's dedication to preserving its heritage while embracing its natural beauty.
The first thing that strikes visitors upon arrival at Mill Pond Park is the sheer beauty of its surroundings. The park boasts a picturesque pond, which is the centerpiece of the landscape. The pond is framed by lush greenery, including tall trees, flowering shrubs, and vibrant wildflowers. It's not uncommon to spot ducks, geese, and other waterfowl gracefully gliding across the pond's surface, making it a favorite spot for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
One of the park's standout features is its extensive network of walking and biking trails. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, Mill Pond Park has something to offer. The well-maintained trails meander through the park's woodlands and wetlands, providing visitors with ample opportunities to connect with nature and explore its diverse ecosystems. Don't forget to bring your camera along; the park's trails offer countless opportunities for capturing breathtaking snapshots of the scenery.
The following activities are strictly prohibited
- Alcoholic beverages or drug use
- Climbing on fences, bridge or waterfall
- Disruptive behavior or vandalism
- Motor boats or motorized vehicles of any kind
For your own safety, do not eat fish caught in the Sudbury River or Mill Pond.
Ashland Marathon Park
Marathon Park is a small park in Ashland, Massachusetts, that is home to a historical marker that claims that "it all started here." This is because Marathon Park was the original starting line of the Boston Marathon, back in 1897.
The first Boston Marathon was organized by John J. McDermott, a sportswriter for the Boston Globe. He wanted to create a race that would commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon, in which a Greek messenger ran 26 miles to Athens to deliver news of the Greek victory.
McDermott chose Marathon Park as the starting line because it was located on the town line between Ashland and Hopkinton, the two towns that would be the first two legs of the race. The race began with a shot from a cannon, and the runners set off on their journey to Boston.
The first Boston Marathon was won by John J. McDermott himself, who finished in 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 10 seconds. The race was a success, and it has been held every year since then, except for during World War I, World War II, and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 1897 - 1898: Metcalf's Mill, Where the Ashland Marathon Park is located.
- 1899 - 1906: High Street Railroad Bridge. The finish line was moved backward in Boston, so a corresponding move was necessary in Ashland to a site just west of the Metcalf's Mill.
- 1907 - 1923: Stevens Corner (named for the Stevens family). With the bridge closed for repairs and the field growing annually, the start was moved to the corner of Union Street (Route 135), Oliver Street, and Frankland Street. This is where the Ashland Community Center is today.
In 1924, the starting line of the Boston Marathon was moved to Hopkinton, where it has remained ever since. However, Marathon Park still retains its historical significance as the original starting line of the race.
Fun Facts about the Early History of the Boston Marathon
- The first Boston Marathon was only open to men. Women were not allowed to participate until 1972.
- The first Boston Marathon was only 18 miles long. The race was extended to 26.2 miles in 1924.
- The first Boston Marathon was not a very well-organized event. There were no water stations along the course, and the runners had to provide their own food and supplies.
- The first Boston Marathon was not very popular. Only 15 runners finished the race.
- Despite its humble beginnings, the Boston Marathon has become one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. It is a symbol of Boston's resilience and determination, and it continues to draw runners worldwide.
Parking at Marathon Park
There is no parking lot at the Ashland Marathon Park. There are a couple of parking lots next door and across the street, but these are private lots, and cars may be subject to towing.
You can legally park at the Ashland MBTA train station or at Gryncell Park - which is located off of High Street. Keep in mind that the Ashland lot is closed during the Fall of 2023.
If you are ever in Ashland, Massachusetts, be sure to visit Marathon Park and learn about its important role in the history of the Boston Marathon.
The Geographic Center of Ashland, Massachusetts
The geographic center of Ashland, Massachusetts is located at 7 Cirrus Road. This is at the Cirrus Apartment Buildings near the Ashland MBTA Commuter Rail Station.
The geographic center of a town or city is the point that is equidistant from all other points in the town or city. It is calculated by using a mathematical formula that takes into account the latitude and longitude of all points in the town or city.
In the case of Ashland, the geographic center was calculated by the town's GIS department. They used a dataset of all the property addresses in the town and then used the mathematical formula to calculate the point that was equidistant from all of those addresses.
The geographic center of Ashland is located on a small triangular piece of land between Cirrus Road and the MBTA tracks. It is a quiet spot, as the location is a storage locker N4.
The geographic center of Ashland is a little-known fact, even to many people who live in the town. However, it is a fun fact to know, and it is a great place to visit if you are looking for a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Here are some other interesting facts about the geographic center of Ashland:
- It is located at an elevation of 188 feet above sea level.
- It is about 1.5 miles from the town center.
- It is within walking distance of the Ashland MBTA Commuter Rail Station.
- The property on which the geographic center is located is owned by the town of Ashland.
If you are ever in Ashland, be sure to visit the geographic center. It is a small but significant spot that is a reminder of the town's unique history and geography.Permalink
Ashland Ma vs Ashland Or.
Ashland, a name that echoes in two different states, Massachusetts and Oregon. Although sharing the same name, these two cities are worlds apart in terms of geography, climate, culture, and lifestyle. In this blog post, we will delve into the key differences between Ashland, Massachusetts, and Ashland, Oregon, shedding light on what makes each city unique and distinct.
Geography and Climate
Let's start by examining the geographical and climatic disparities between Ashland, Massachusetts, and Ashland, Oregon. Ashland, Massachusetts, is nestled in Middlesex County, located in the eastern part of the state. It boasts a picturesque New England landscape with lush greenery, rolling hills, and charming small-town vibes. On the other hand, Ashland, Oregon, lies in the southern part of the state, surrounded by the stunning Cascade Mountain Range and the Rogue River. The landscape here is marked by breathtaking natural beauty, including mountains, forests, and expansive valleys.
In terms of climate, Ashland, Massachusetts, experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by hot summers and cold winters. The average temperature ranges from 20?F (-6?C) in winter to 80?F (27?C) in summer. Conversely, Ashland, Oregon, has a more moderate climate, influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. It enjoys mild winters with temperatures averaging around 40?F (4?C) and warm, dry summers reaching around 85?F (29?C).
Culture and Lifestyle
Moving on to culture and lifestyle, both Ashland, Massachusetts, and Ashland, Oregon, have their own unique charm. Ashland, Massachusetts, is deeply rooted in American history, with colonial architecture, historic sites, and a strong sense of tradition. The city is home to the renowned Ashland State Park, offering recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating for outdoor enthusiasts.
On the other hand, Ashland, Oregon, is famous for its vibrant arts and theater scene. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, held annually, attracts theater enthusiasts from around the world. The city also embraces a more alternative and eco-conscious lifestyle, with a strong focus on sustainability, organic farming, and local produce. Ashland, Oregon, is surrounded by numerous wineries, making it a hub for wine connoisseurs.
Economy and Industry
When it comes to the economy and industry, Ashland, Massachusetts, and Ashland, Oregon, differ significantly. Ashland, Massachusetts, has a diverse economy, with a strong presence in healthcare, education, and retail industries. The city is home to several prestigious universities, including Framingham State University and Bentley University, contributing to a thriving education sector.
In contrast, Ashland, Oregon, has a more tourism-driven economy, with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being a major contributor. The city also benefits from its proximity to outdoor recreational areas, attracting visitors who enjoy activities like hiking, biking, and rafting. The local economy thrives on hospitality, tourism-related services, and the wine industry.
In conclusion, despite sharing the same name, Ashland, Massachusetts, and Ashland, Oregon, have distinct characteristics that set them apart. From geographical landscapes and climate to culture, lifestyle, and economic factors, these two cities offer unique experiences to residents and visitors alike. Whether you prefer the historical charm of Ashland, Massachusetts, or the artistic vibrancy of Ashland, Oregon, both cities have their own appeal and allure.
Ashland Day 2023
Ashland, Massachusetts, is gearing up for its highly anticipated annual event - Ashland Day! This year, the festivities will take place on September 23, 2023, promising a day filled with fun, entertainment, and a celebration of the vibrant community that makes Ashland so special.
What is Ashland Day?
Ashland Day is an annual event that brings together residents and visitors alike to celebrate the town's rich history, culture, and community spirit. It is a day where friends, families, and neighbors come together to enjoy various activities, live performances, delicious food, and much more.
Exciting Activities for All Ages
Ashland Day offers a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to all age groups. From thrilling amusement rides to engaging games and contests, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Children can bounce on inflatables, get their faces painted, or try their hand at the various skill-based games. Adults can explore local vendors, art exhibits, and enjoy live music performances.
Live Performances and Entertainment
One of the highlights of Ashland Day is the live performances that showcase the incredible talent within the community. Local musicians, dancers, and artists take the stage, providing entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can groove to the beats of live bands, marvel at dance performances, and be captivated by the artistic expressions on display.
Delicious Food and Refreshments
No festival is complete without delicious food, and Ashland Day doesn't disappoint. There will be a wide variety of food vendors offering an array of culinary delights, ranging from traditional favorites to international cuisines. Whether you crave mouthwatering burgers, sizzling BBQ, or delectable desserts, Ashland Day has something to satisfy every palate.
Supporting Local Businesses
Ashland Day is not only a celebration of community but also an opportunity to support local businesses. The event provides a platform for small businesses, artisans, and craftsmen to showcase their products and services. Visitors can explore the diverse range of offerings, from handmade crafts to unique clothing items, and show their support for the local economy.
Are you interested in being a part of Ashland Day 2023? There are various ways to get involved and contribute to the success of this community celebration. You can volunteer your time, sponsor an activity, or participate as a vendor. By actively participating, you become an integral part of the Ashland Day experience and help create lasting memories for everyone involved.
Save the Date
Mark your calendars for September 23, 2023, and make sure not to miss out on Ashland Day. It's a day to celebrate Ashland's rich heritage, embrace the vibrant community, and create lasting memories with friends and family. Join us as we come together to make Ashland Day 2023 an unforgettable event!
Ashland Day will be in the Stone Park - which is located right off of Summer Street in Ashland, Massachusetts.
For more information and updates, visit the official Ashland Day website. We look forward to seeing you there!
Some fun facts about Ashland, Massachusetts:
- Ashland was the original starting point of the Boston Marathon from 1897 to 1924. The marathon still runs through Ashland today, and the town has a clock tower at the intersection of Union and Chestnut streets that marks the marathon?s starting point.
- Ashland is known as ?Clock Town? because it was once home to the Telechron Corporation, which manufactured electric clocks. The company was founded in Ashland in 1904 and moved to Connecticut in 1943, but the town still retains its nickname.
- Ashland is home to Ashland State Park, a 470-acre park with a reservoir, hiking trails, and a swimming beach. The park is also home to the Ashland Town Forest, a 550-acre forest with hiking trails and a pond.
- Ashland is a diverse town with over 16,000 people. Known for its welcoming and inclusive community, the town is home to people from around the world.
- Ashland is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. The town has excellent schools, a vibrant downtown, and a variety of parks and recreation opportunities.
Here are some other fun facts about Ashland:
- The town was originally named "Unionville" but was renamed "Ashland" in 1846 after Henry Clay's Kentucky estate.
- Ashland was home to the first public library in Massachusetts.
- The town is home to the Ashland Historical Society, which preserves the town's history.
- Ashland is a popular destination for leaf peepers in the fall - especially in the Sudbury River Park .
- The town is also home to the Ashland Farmers Market, held every Saturday from June to October.
Ashland Witches Caves/Castle
Deep within the wooded heart of Ashland, Massachusetts, lies a place that has captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike for generations - the enigmatic Witches Caves/Castle. Shrouded in legend and lore, this ruinous stone structure beckons those with a taste for the eerie and the unknown. Let's dive into the captivating tale that surrounds this intriguing location.
A Glimpse into History
The Witches Caves/Castle, despite its ominous moniker, doesn't have an explicit historical connection to witchcraft or sorcery. The origins of its name remain somewhat obscure, but the structure is thought to be the remnants of an old mill or possibly a stone dwelling dating back to the 19th century. The true history has been blurred by time, leading to the proliferation of stories that have woven a fascinating narrative around the site.
View of the Witches Castle in Ashland, Massachusetts.
The Legend Unveiled
Local folklore has breathed life into the Witches Caves/Castle, endowing it with an aura of mystery and otherworldly energy. Tales of witchcraft, occult rituals, and ghostly apparitions have fueled the legend, attracting both curious explorers and paranormal enthusiasts. Whispers of eerie lights, strange noises, and even ghostly figures seen near the ruin have only added to its allure.
The Modern Intrigue
As the years have passed, the Witches Caves/Castle legend has only grown stronger. It has become a popular destination for thrill-seekers and urban explorers who venture into the woods to catch a glimpse of the mysterious ruin. Online communities share stories, photos, and experiences, perpetuating the mystique of the location.
Separating Fact from Fiction
While the allure of the Witches Caves/Castle is undeniable, it's essential to approach its legend with a healthy dose of skepticism. Historical records often lack concrete evidence connecting the site to witchcraft or the supernatural. The stories surrounding the ruin could be embellishments, exaggerations, or pure fabrications created over time.
Exploration and Access
While the Witch Caves/Castle maintains an air of secrecy, they are not entirely inaccessible to the curious explorer. Located in the woods of Ashland, these caves can be found by following a well-worn path that winds through the forest. As you venture deeper into the woodlands, the aura of mystique grows stronger, guiding you toward the hidden caverns where the witches once gathered. It is important to note that exploring the caves requires caution and respect for their historical and cultural significance.
Follow the Trail
The Caves/Castle is located in the Ashland Woods. (Download this Map) Take the Blue Line Trail to Marker 43, which is at the intersection of the Yellow and Blue Trail. This is near the Water Tank, and then keep going towards the house and the Witch Caves/Castle will be on your right. Use the blog picture as a guide
Map of Witches Caves in Ashland, Massachusetts.
Finding the Caves/Castle (GPS Location)
The exact GPS coordinates for the Castle is:
Latitude: 42° 16’ 34.56” N
Longitude: 71° 28’ 6.102” W
Here is a link to the Google Maps Location.
Exploration and Respect
For those who venture into the woods to seek out the Witches Castle, it's important to remember that the site might be on private property or situated in protected areas. Respecting the environment, adhering to any local regulations, and practicing responsible exploration are crucial to preserving the natural beauty and historical integrity of the location.
Ashland MBTA Station Temporary Closing
Ashland Station, on the Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line, will be closed for repairs from Aug. 26 through fall 2023, according to the MBTA.
As part of the $2.5 million project, the pedestrian overpass will be completely restored, the platform will be resurfaced and painted, repairs will be made to the accessible platform, and digital signage will be installed.
Four Things to Know
- The train will still go through the Ashland Station but will not make any stops.
- The MBTA will provide a shuttle service to the Framingham MBTA station. However, the parking lot at the Ashland station will be closed during the temporary station closure. The MBTA is encouraging passengers to go to Southborough or Framingham. (I am unsure of why people would be taking the shuttle service)
- MWRTA will also provide a shuttle from the Ashland MBTA to Framingham MBTA during this period.
- In 2017, the MBTA replaced the stairs at the Framingham station but didn't close the station. Passengers had to use Concord Street to cross over the tracks. The stairs were closed from August 7 and reopened on October 13. (Note: The Ashland upgrade is more than fixing the stairs.