After hearing about Sawyer Brook Headwaters in Grantham from Sheridan Brown, one of the District's Friends of Conservation at the Annual Social in October, I decided I should check it out. My friend, Hannah, came with me and we wandered around the trails at a naturalist's pace taking in the bubbling brook, hemlock trees, and footprints in the fresh snow. We eventually came to a large opening, which I believe to be the actual headwaters of Sawyer Brook. There was a long, large old beaver dam creating a pond with a lodge in the center. Croydon Mountain was in the background.
We investigated the dam looking for fresh beaver sign. It looked like it might have been abandoned that year, but we couldn't be sure. As we continued along the trails, we came to a smaller beaver dam - right along the old logging road. We were amazed at how well it kept the water behind it. There were many signs of fresh beaver activity including fresh mud on the lodge and newly cut logs and stumps.
Shortly afterwards we came to a trail called Moose Alley. Hannah loves moose. Just after I asked her what she might do we saw a moose, we saw what looked like moose tracks in the snow.
These were very fresh. We started looking around immediately, expecting to see one over our shoulders. We followed the prints along the trail for quite some time, all the while, expecting to see the animal that made them. At one point, we didn't see the tracks anymore, so we went back and tried to find where they went off trail. We found them and started to see other signs - the ground was dug up (from a hoof) and then we noticed some scat. That was the tell tale sign. We had been following a white-tailed deer, not a moose! But it sure was fun and exciting thinking a moose could be around any corner.
The trail continued on and connected back onto an old road. As we were walking down a hill, a ruffed grouse startled us as it awkwardly flew down from the top of a tree out in front of us. Eventually we noticed a tall fence on our left. We determined it was the border of Corbin Park and started wondering if we might see a wild boar or other animal that we had heard may have been hunted there in the past. When we got back to the car, we agreed that Sawyer Brook Headwaters is a great place to go on a nature adventure. If you want to visit, you can find out more information here.