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Currier Reservation: Westwood’s hidden, hidden gem

The reservation is very inconspicuous when seen from the road.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

When you research the Currier Reservation online, not much pops up. But, of the very few articles that do, most call the Westwood reservation a hidden gem.

They’re not kidding when they say “hidden,” because the reservation entrance is extremely hard to find, and there’s nowhere to park.

So, before I even thought of what path I was going to go down, how long I was going to spend there, or what I was going to photograph, I had to decide whose house I was going to park in front of. Normally, I wouldn’t think much about it, but making sure it was clear I was not a home invader took on a new importance. 

Choosing a house with kid’s toys on the lawn was an option, but I knew people with kids would be more wary of a stranger parked in front of their abode. A house with a security system was tempting, considering you’d have to be crazy to try and rob the one house in a neighborhood with a security system, but it also meant the homeowner was concerned with burglars already. Eventually, I decided to park in between two houses and hope each family thought it was someone visiting the other. They could figure out I wasn’t visiting either of them, but they’d have to talk to their neighbor to do it.

Still, the hidden nature of the reservation, combined with a 2010 article that quoted Westwood resident and Eagle Scout Kevin Bean remarking that members of the Roosevelt family used to hunt there, were intriguing enough. I really wanted to see the place.

After passing by the gate, one immediately has to choose between the red and blue trails. I opted to check out the red one, following a pair of chain-link and wooden fences until I hit a giant meadow, just behind a residence. The meadow was nice, with direct sunshine and grass low enough that you’re not hugely concerned with ticks - though it did kind of feel like I was trespassing in somebody's backyard.

The meadow grass was low enough to allow Lyme-anxiety-free walking, while offering stunning views.

Eventually, I made my way to a small pond, which had some clear signs of wildlife, including a couple of ducks and a bullfrog. Trying to get around the pond, as you head down the trail past the dam, you hit a point where you’re in thick muck trying to pass over a stream. Fortunately, somebody set up a path of fallen tree logs you can conceivably cross over if you are nimble enough. Unfortunately, I wasn’t.

My shoe lodged itself so deeply in the mud that it came off when I pulled my leg out.

While close to many homes, the reservation does offer a chance to see some wetland wildlife

I backtracked to the blue trail and headed home, only briefly stopping to see a giant concrete square that looked like it was the foundation of something, but had been abandoned and was now a giant puddle of water. What this once was, I don’t know. But now, it’s nothing more than a mosquito breeding ground.

On my way out I saw a family and asked if I could take their picture for Hometown Weekly. While seemingly odd, their response is one I get a lot: they weren’t sure if they should leave their masks on or take them off for the picture.

Lots of people have said this to me recently, seemingly unsure of what the new social norm is regarding photographs. On one hand, obviously, you can see people’s faces better without a mask. On the other hand, nobody wants to be accused of not following the new Massachusetts guidelines about masks, in a picture for which they were only very briefly unmasked.  

A very responsible family remains masked while posing for a photo (note the boy’s mask that reads 'this was preventable.')

They kept the masks on and passed me on their way as I headed home.

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