Andover photographer Bob Dennis spends a lot of time downtown in search of good color in the trees along Main, School, Bartlet and Central streets. But he says there’s one place to spot great fall foliage that many people never think of – cemeteries.
“The cemetery adjoining West Parish Church on Route 133 usually puts on a good show (and is again this year). Today I was reminded that the old cemetery behind South Church is not to be missed,” said Dennis, referring to the South Parish Burial Grounds and the West Parish Garden Cemetery. “I’m a passionate lifelong photographer of fall foliage and I’ve often wondered why the most colorful foliage is often found in cemeteries.”
With the arrival of mid-October, many people enjoy the sight of a tree changing to a vivid red, orange, rust or yellow color. Andover residents involved in open-space preservation usually say you can’t go wrong taking a trip down any of Andover’s many AVIS and other conservation trails. But when pushed, they will offer a personal, favorite spot to see foliage.
Bob Decelle, projects manager for the Conservation Department, picks the Goldsmith Woodlands, between South
Main Street (Route 28) and Fosters Pond.
“Goldsmith is good and so is any trail. You just have to get out and see,” Decelle said.
“Because “America” was written in this town, 180 years ago, the words of Samuel Francis Smith echo in my ears: ‘I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills,’” said Andover Village Improvement Society member Alix Driscoll in an email. “I take an autumn hike on the Peggy Keck Reservation, off Gould Road, to see through the foliage the Andover granite, the erratic travellers of the Wisconsin glacier and the smoothed mountaintops of prehistoric ranges.”
Workers for the Department of Public Works suggest taking in the reflected views around Haggetts Pond Road or walking along the high trails at Recreation Park, off Abott Street, which look down on Pomps Pond and its surroundings.
AVIS member Fred Snell most appreciates the beauty found near the intersection with Reservation Road, Shawsheen Road and Route 133.
“I think one of the nicest places to see fall foliage is the AVIS West Parish Meadow Reservation. Here is a spot where the green of the field, the clear blue sky, and the color of the leaves play against each other in a wonderful manner. Several ponds may have birds landing and looking for a last minute meal and the still water reflects the sky and foliage,” said Snell in an email.
He said an easy way to access the meadow is from the green in front of the West Parish Church at 129 Reservation Road. People can park, explore the Children’s Garden to the south of the parking area, cross Reservation Road and look for the AVIS sign on the east side of the road just down the hill. Residents can even download a trail map from avisandover.org on the Reservations page.