Date visited: February 20, 2016
Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset
Address: 15 Coolidge Point, Manchester By-The-Sea, MA
Parking: about 8-10 parking spaces, small lot.
How could you not want to visit an area with the name “by the sea” in its name? It sounds like the name of an idyllic setting from a novel. And the town lives up to that description. I passed by several fruit, vegetable and flower stands as well as signs to watch out for people riding horses. The houses and town also had a very Norman Rockwell feel.
I wasn’t sure how the footing and appearance of the park would be given the recent snowy weather and icy conditions on many of the trails at other parks. As it turned out, most of the ice and snow on the trails had melted and I only had to manage some small patches of ice and mud from the melted snow.
The trails are clearly marked and easy to walk. There are no steep inclines and the paths are wide enough to accommodate the throng of visitors.
There are a few trails that meander slightly off the trail. But one trail simply leads to the street and is behind a bunch of cattails so you really can’t view much of the pond. The other stupid trail goes to a thorny, rocky dead end.
As you walk on the main trail, you will pass Clarke Pond on your left. It was partially frozen and there were some ducks and geese milling around. I also got a few shots off them dunking for lunch. The gulls in the first photo looked like big blocks of snow at first glance. I especially like how the mom and dad duck kept the baby duckling close to them.
There were many breath taking views of the pond. I especially like how the frozen parts of the pond break with the unfrozen sections.
To the right of the main trail, I found a side road with a pond that channels into Clarke Pond. There were a variety of ducks and geese in this pond.
I met a lot of friendly and cool people at Coolidge. Shapoo was one of the cool and friendly folks I met (the name is a mix of shih tzu and poodle) .
Much to my consternation, I was unable to find the Ocean Lawn which offers views of the Boston skyline and Cape Cod as well as scenic views of the water. I totally missed the boat on that one as there are some great views and opportunities for some great shots from there. But, to the left of the trail, Magnolia Beach more than made up for it which I will post about very soon…click here to read about my visit to Magnolia Beach.