Volunteers clear Hudson’s Danforth trails

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Volunteers clear Hudson’s Danforth trails
Photo by/Laura Hayes
A trail runs alongside Danforth Brook. Volunteers worked to clear the trail May 8.

By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer

HUDSON — Carrying planks of wood and drills, about a dozen volunteers ventured to Danforth Falls on May 8 to clear the trails and stabilize the path. 

“There’s an old trail that has fallen into disrepair that runs along the side of the brook,” said Gregory Opp, President of the Hudson Land Trust.

The Land Trust, which is a nonprofit founded by Hudson residents, and Hudson Conservation Commission organized the project. 

With fallen branches and brush growing on the trail, it was hard for hikers who wanted to along Danforth Brook to know where they’re going.

“The idea is to make the trail walkable and easy for people to follow so that they don’t go wandering through,” Opp said.

Opp has been involved with the town and Land Trust for years. 

Opp said the main purpose of the land trust is to be the independent agency that holds conservation land or land purchased with Community Preservation Act funds, including Schofield, Fossile, Albertini/Meers and Old North Road. 

The Danforth trails are one of several hiking trails in Hudson. 

The path runs through the Danforth Conservation Area, which, according to the Land Trust’s website, is an 80-acre tract of land owned by the town and managed by the Conservation Commission. Besides the waterfall and a summit on the top of Philips Hill, the conservation area also includes Danforth Brook, which is stocked for fishing in the spring. 

Last fall, they did work on the main trail, including installing footbridges to get hikers out of the mud, Opp said.

The project was funded by a donation and money from the Land Trust and Conservation Commission, and Opp is estimating the materials for the project cost about $900.

“It’s the most popular site in Hudson for people to hike. So we’re trying to make it accessible,” Opp said.

Volunteers clear Hudson’s Danforth trails
Photo by/Laura Hayes
Brandon Parker explains the plans for the trail to volunteers.

Early that Saturday morning, the volunteers gathered at the trailhead off Lincoln Street where Brandon Parker, who is a member of both the Land Trust and the Conservation Commission, laid out their plans for the trail. 

The volunteers constructed boardwalks totaling approximately 60 feet. 

Parker led another volunteer down the trail, where he marked with white spray paint what low-hanging branches and brush needed to be removed. 

For several hours, the volunteers cleared the trail. All of the work was done using manual labor. 

As they were busy drilling the boardwalks together, hikers wove through the volunteers and planks of wood to make the trek up to Danforth Falls and Philips Hill. 

“It’s the ruggedness of the terrain and the quietness of the brook,” said Parker, when asked what he liked about the trail.