This trail has just about everything you could want for a wander in the woods.
There is ample parking for Mason residents with parking passes at the end of Scripps lane, off Brookline Road. Follow signs for Mason Hollow Nursery. Wander down the dirt lane. Mason Hollow Nursery is worth a stop on the way back, especially if you love Hostas. Seasonably open. Passes may be obtained at the town clerk’s office.
All others, well, you can lengthen your walk by parking in the ample parking off Depot Road. Even enough room for horse trailers. Cross Depot and head down the rail trail. You will come to the 4 corners junction, this is where the resident parking joins the rail trail. For this wander, take the trail to the left, then turn right after the causeway and by the orange gate. There used to be beavers here, but they have unfortunately moved on.
The trails are well marked by the local snowmobile group. There are signs indicating the Quarry Loop trail, as well as Mason Town Center.
As you approach the Quarry you will see remnants of the old buildings and many interesting cut stones strewn along the side of the trails. If you head straight you will reach the old Quarry and if the bugs will let you sit and enjoy the beauty, the history, and the quiet, unless the locals are there swimming. FYI the Quarry itself is closed to nonresidents and police do take notice.
There is a new loop trail, the George Schwenk trail which loops through the woods behind the quarry, for those who would like a bit of a longer hike. that will be another separate post, There are signs indicating its location.
Really feeling energetic? Follow the old road that heads off to the left and goes up behind the quarry. It is worth the trek and eventually heads back down to the rail trail, but that is a 7-mile loop (Schwenk trail comes out on this road. However, we are only interested in the short loop today. Turn your back on the high granite walls and head back toward the rail trail. When you reach the rail bed, take a slight detour to the left and look on the right for the monument to a couple of fallen quarrymen. It is getting worn with the weather but if you look hard you will see it. Their fellow workers etched it into the rocks rising out of the ground beside the trail.
As you turn and head toward Scripps lane on your right is a pile of granite where you can sometimes see porcupines. There are porcupines in the area so be on the lookout if you are with your dog. There are also a lot of horseback riders that use the trail, and they appreciate it if you contain your dog as you go by. Bikers and hikers, snowmobilers, skiers, dog sledders. The trail is used and enjoyed by many all year round. No motorized wheeled vehicles are allowed. Continue through the orange road gate If you parked on Scripps, thee trail back will be on your left. If you parked on Depot, continue straight.