2 Story Rock, Sharon – 4/30/16

The King Philip’s Rock & Cave area in Sharon is a frequent hiking spot. This time, we decided to try a new route to 2 Story Rock, a feature we had been to only once before, and from a different direction.

We bypassed the tiny parking lot on Mansfield St, and parked instead on Tracey Lane. Across Mansfield St., to the left, you’ll see the conservation land sign that lets you know you’re at the trail head.

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The trail goes through pine woods, easy to follow despite the lack of blazes.

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Thanks to the trail map created by the Sharon Friends of Conservation, we learned that a number of the large glacial erratics (big, out of place boulders, dropped by receding glaciers) have been named.

This is Split Top Rock (you can double-click any photo to see it larger):

Here’s Bathing Boulder, because it sits over a small pool that may be turn to mud during dry spells:

This is Moon Rock, because local Original Peoples may have used these rocks for night sky observances:

The trail continues level as a valley unfolds below to the left.

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Eventually, the trail divides , but there are blazes at the intersection. We follow our Sharon Friends’ trail map to the left, and soon reach a boardwalk, with a blaze just beyond.

Lo and behold, the trail leads us up to King Philip’s Cave, which is actually two piles of huge boulders. King Philip was the colonial name for Metacomet, son of Wampanoag chief Massasoit who helped the Pilgrims. After the Europeans kept encroaching on native lands, Metacomet led a violent rebellion, King Philip’s War, in which natives attacked almost half of the New England towns (1675 – 78). There’s no proof that King Philip and the allied tribes met or camped at the sites in Sharon that are named for him, but it’s likely that the tribes passed through the area on their travels from eastern Mass. and Rhode Island to central and western Mass.  Anyway, here’s King Philip’s Cave:

We keep following the trailmap, find a pale sign to “2 Storey Rock” [that’s the British spelling] and powerlines (that we never saw), up over one hill, down into a valley with a tiny seasonal stream, up over another hill.

Passed another faint, handwritten sign pointing back to the Cave, 1 mile away. Didn’t think we’d gone that far! But we kept climbing, not too steep, just a nice variety of terrain. Picked up a blue ribbon, and tied it to a tree for a spare blaze.  There were a lot of little side trails, but we kept to the main one and soon saw a stone wall, and just beyond that, 2 Story Rock.

Hike back to King Philip’s Cave was easy. Passed our blue ribbon trail marker crossed the boardwalk, and headed home.

Perfect short sleeve weather, crisp air, warm sun, no bugs. And we never saw another hiker.

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