Rafe’s Chasm and Coolidge Reservation

Sunday after we completely annihilated the 5k, we felt like we needed a leisurely ramble somewhere, preferably near the ocean. I looked for green spaces we’d never been to before, and Rafe’s Chasm looked like a good choice. Off we went.

It’s a place you’re not going to stumble upon. If you happen to be driving along 127 just outside Magnolia, and if you happen to see a bunch of cars parked alongside the road but not near any kind of sign at all, then you may find your way to Rafe’s Chasm. You’ll take a very brief walk through some nice woods…

And suddenly find yourself on a rocky coast.

It looks as if most people visit the Chasm for fishing. We watched a couple of guys wrestle this gull to the ground and release him from a hook caught in his wing, after he’d been out trying to catch the bait. He retreated to a rock after, got his pride and feathers in order, and was right back at it again within minutes. At least the guys looked like they knew exactly how to handle the job.

We’re not sure what this thing is, but it’s across the chasm and on an area marked “private property,” so we didn’t venture to find out.

It’s not a big place, so after sunning ourselves just a bit, we headed back into the trees and decided to drive on down the road.

On the way in, we’d spotted a sign for a Trustees property we’d never been to before, Coolidge Reservation. This one’s pretty great. You take a nice leisurely ramble through the trees.

And end up by a little pond.

Nice spot for a house, eh?

And then out a bit to a small beach. I was rather cold in my t-shirt, but there were still people sunbathing.

Then it gets really good. Continue on up the path toward Ocean Lawn (a sign says it’s closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, so keep that in mind).

It’s an old estate (Coolidge, ostensibly), the former grounds of what I suppose the fabulous would have called a “cottage,” on the order of the Newport cottages. Now it’s just a giant lawn with huge, beautiful trees and the perfect grass for picnicking or just wandering around.

You can even see the outline of the old foundation, where the Marble Palace originally was. (Visit this blog and scroll about halfway down to see a photo. Wish I’d known about seeing the pillars in the water when we were there. Next time, I guess.)

There’s even a little view of the Boston skyline from here.

But mostly just big, old, lovely trees for sitting under all afternoon.