Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Quabbin Gate 43: The Road to Greenwich Village

These photographs were taken last Spring on a rainy Saturday at Gate 43, in Hardwick, Massachusetts.

Gate 43 is an important area of the Quabbin Reservoir. The reservoir's baffle dam is located here, visible through the trees from the end of the public access part of the road. The dam is an integral part of Quabbin's 'from river-water to tap-water' process, serving as a natural filtration system by directing water entering the reservoir from the Swift-Wachusett Tunnel and the East Branch of the Swift River to the north, around Mt. Zion. The intake shaft drawing water from Quabbin on the beginning of its journey to Boston, Shaft 12, is located south of Gate 43. By the time the inflow of water from the tunnel and the river reaches this outlet on its circuitous route, much of the sediment and impurities have been removed, heavier sediment settling to the reservoir floor. For obvious reasons, these areas of Quabbin are highly restricted. The baffle dam system is built where Greenwich Village once stood.

The road at Gate 43 is paved, which makes it accessible to bicyclists, but there are some pretty steep hills as far as wheelchair access, etc. It's about a two mile walk from the parking area on Greenwich Road in Hardwick to the baffle dam, with amazing stone walls zig-zagging the forest on either side of the road. There are a few unpaved side roads to explore here, also.

Gate 43 is one of three boat launch access points on the Quabbin Reservoir and is often referred to as "Fishing Gate 43."

Hardwick is one of the most beautiful towns in New England.

Looking north up Greenwich Road.

Ice-foam pattern.


Barrels and stone walls.

Not much of a cascade for April.

The end of the road.

Where once humans trod...

Life is harvested.

Cans on a stone wall, foundation in the background.

The road home. Leaving the ghosts of the Swift River valley behind...

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