A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Townsend Ice Cream

May 18, 2019
Emilie Phillips

Isaac was enthusiastic to go on a longer bike ride, especially for another ride to ice cream. There is an ice cream truck in Brookline’s little commercial district, but it is only 3 miles away. The next closest I could find was in Townsend MA. If Tyson and I bicycled there by ourselves, we would have ridden straight down Rt 13. Isaac doesn’t consistently stay to the side of the road, so we looked for a route with less traffic.

Isaac and Tyson riding down the hill

Tyson came up with a loop that might work. We would head into Mason, then take Lost Valley Road south. I knew lost Valley Road started as a regular dirt road. Open street maps said it dwindled to a trail. The trail should pop out on West Hill Road in Brookline. That road dead ends at the Townsend town line where another trail continues south into Townsend State Forest as Fessenden Hill Rd. We knew snowmobiles use the trails in the Townsend forest, so we guessed bicycles would be allowed. The last 1.5 miles, there was no avoiding RT 13. The return trip is mostly uphill, so we would need to stick to pavement or Isaac wouldn’t make it. We planned to take side roads that zigzag next to RT 13.

Lost Valley Road was lovely. It made me feel almost like I was hiking through the woods on a bike. Green trees, bird songs, beaver ponds, and flowers. The road had tire tracks, but was still mostly grassy. Yet, when we were almost to Brookline, two large boulders blocked the road. Then a bit farther a gate. The last section was someone’s driveway. Why do the best trails have to come to bad ends?

Ice cream

The rest of the ride to the Ice Cream Factory in Townsend went as expected. Isaac got a giant scoop of ice cream on a waffle cone. That’s the last time he ordered ice cream in a cone because after taking two licks, the whole ball of ice cream toppled off the cone and fell on the ground.

On the way home, Isaac was tired. We decided we needed to take the flattest and shortest way back. That would be up route 13. The two lane highway has a wide shoulder. We stayed well over to the side with one parent up front setting pace and the other in back supervising Isaac. It worked. We arrived home with everyone still cheerful. Our GPS track even looked like a serving of ice cream in a cone.

All Photos

GPS Track