Although Thanksgiving has passed, it's not too late to be thankful. A beautiful Ashland fall? Definitely thanksworthy. A day without work or school? Thank you, very much.
An Ashland trail where you don't have to dodge bicyclists? Too good to be true?
Hikers, rejoice — Bandersnatch, a new city trail that winds through the backwoods by the Ashland Reservoir, is off-limits to bicyclists. It is truly stunning, especially in late fall, when snow dusts the top of rolling mountains that stretch in all directions. Although the 11/4-mile trail is only a few minutes' drive from downtown, hike on it for a half-hour and you'll feel like you've been transported to some mystical land.
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The trail's name was inspired by Lewis Carroll, the author of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" who invented this "frumious" creature. Bandersnatch — the trail, that is — is dog- and horse-friendly. Bikers, however, may want to try nearby White Rabbit Trail to satisfy their pedaling passion. (And, yes, there is an Alice in Wonderland Trail.)
There may be no better way to walk off Thanksgiving weekend's stretch of big meals and ever-present desserts than trying out this trail. But if you get hungry along the way, there is a picnic table about a mile up the trail with great views. It makes for a comfortable repose for those who have dressed warmly.
To get to Bandersnatch, take Granite Street 1.2 miles until you come to the reservoir. Continue left on Glenview Drive and park in the lot on your right about 300 feet ahead. The trailhead starts behind you at the gated fence. Head up, up, up as you follow the well-marked trail.
Amelia Covert Zeve, 13, is an Ashland-based writer and wilderness enthusiast who attends Ashland Middle School. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.