Boston, Massachusetts Travel Guide - Must-See Attractions
Boston is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston was founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan colonists from England.
The most important places to visit in Boston are: Boston Common (starting point for Freedom Trail, dating back to 1634, this central public park is loved by locals as well as visitors), Massachusetts State Building (given its gold dome, the state capital can not be missed. It is the seat of the Massachusetts government), Faneuil Hall (constructed in 1742, it has been an important meeting hall. Today there's a market that offers many places to eat and shop), Beacon Hill (a famous historical neighborhood of Boston, amidst its well preserved streets, you will feel like you've gone back in time), Granary (part of the Freedom Trail, it was built in 1660. The site is the resting place for many prominent personalities and statesmen), Trinity Church (said to be one of the greatest buildings in the country, for a special treat, attend a concert during Christmas season), Harvard University (considered to be the world's greatest academic institution, you can tour its campus to soak in the wonderful ambiance), Copley Square (many important buildings with diverse architecture styles are here. This is also the site of the Boston Marathon's finish line) and many more.
If you want to save time and money, the most important Boston travel tip is to compare prices before booking a hotel room or a flight. You can do this for free on a site that searches through hundreds of other travel websites in real time for the best travel deals available.
Hike to Heron Pond at Cache River Natural Area, IL 11-5-16 (Southern Cypress Swamp)
The Cache River Natural Area is a 14,960 acre tract of land located in Johnson, Massac and Pulaski Counties, southern Illinois. In the heart of this area, located in Johnson County, lies the 75 acre Heron Pond, which is home to 1,000 year old Cypress trees. And while you're in The Land of Lincoln there is a distinct southern feel to this area.
Here is an excerpt from the Map/Pamphlet of the area: When storms pushed Norseman Leif Ericsson westward to the North American continent 1,000 years ago, many of the cypress trees of today's Cache River State Natural Area were just saplings. By the time Christopher Columbus landed in the Western Hemisphere 500 years later, they had grown into ancient trees that towered above even more ancient blackwater swamps.
Cache River State Natural Area is situated in southernmost Illinois within a floodplain carved long ago by glacial floodwater of the Ohio River. When the Ohio River adopted its present course, it left the Cache River to meander across rich and vast wetlands. Among the outstanding natural features found within the area today are massive cypress trees whose flared bases, called buttresses, exceed 40 feet in circumference. Many are more than 1,000 years old, including one that has earned the title of state champion bald cypress because of its huge trunk girth, towering height and heavily branched canopy.
Despite intensive efforts to convert land along the Cache River to cropland, the land that today makes up the Cache River State Natural Area has managed to hold onto some of the highest quality aquatic and terrestrial natural communities remaining in Illinois. Wetlands within this area are so important to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds that in 1996 the RAMSAR Convention collectively designated them a Wetland of Inter-national Importance, only the 15th wetland in the United States to receive this distinction.
It is within southern Illinois that north meets south and east meets west. With its diversity of soils, bedrock and landforms, the Cache River Valley contains four distinct ecological regions. Its hodgepodge of ecological factors has results in a collage of natural communities, each with its own unique assemblage of physical attributes, plants and animals. Source: State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The hike: On this day we started at the trailhead, near the town of Belknap and hiked the short distance to the pond and back out for a total of 1.5 miles. Also, we made the short walk to the Illinois champion Cherry Bark Oak Tree, plus skirted the eastern edge of the pond for a little while. Estimated total length of hike: 2 miles. The terrain was easy and nearly all flat. We rate this trail 1 out of 5 Billygoats. Thanks for watching!