Stop #6, Kame Terrace

Your arrival at stop #6 is immediately rewarded with a stunning view of Haynes Meadow with Hop Brook meandering its way to the bridge, framed by highlands on either side.  This lowland was not carved out by the flowing stream.  Rather the brook was opportunistic, finding a flow path carved out by the glacier.  

Look ahead of you (north) along the eastern shore of Hop Brook and extending southward beyond the bridge you will see a rise of land with Saxony Drive at its top.  This a kame terrace, though its shape has been modified by house construction.  A tongue of glacial ice often travelsdown a depression like the one you see before you.  Melting is more rapid where the tongue of ice meets the valley edge, creating a v-shaped depression where meltwater can transport sands from above.  As the sand-laden meltwater slows the sands are released in the form of a mound.  If you could gain a closer look at the kame terrace you would probably see sands sorted by size, which is evidence of fluvial deposits from running water.  Pictured at right is a kame terrace unaltered by human activity.  The Turnpike Trail in the Harvard, Mass. section of Oxbow Wild Refuge in Shirley Mass. has a kame terrace. The rapid retreat of glaciers such as the Nellie Juan Glacier on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska has given rise to numerous new kame terraces free of trees.

Look to the left (west) and you will see a precipitous rise about 40ft. high which is called an ice contact face.  When an advancing glacier meets an immovable outcropping of bed rock, it is forced to turn, building up a sharp rise in the land that you see here.  While it is hard to see the rise due to the heavy growth of trees, notice that the tree tops soar into the air and appear to be more than 100 ft. high.  The trees are not 100 ft. tall but rather are perched high atop the ice contact face.  Let’s head that way to stops #7 and #8 and climb to the top to get a better look.

Stop #7 is a 130 yds. down the trail.  On your way look around you and you will see more eskers snaking their way across the glaciated landscape.