TestPics: Wilderness Overlook near Schoolmaster Hill

I’ve taken a lot of pictures in Franklin Park lately, and they serve as test pictures of the kind of pictures I’d shoot if I make a second try at a Kickstarter campaign to create a Franklin Park photo book. It turns out doing that brings some problems.

One problem I have now is that I now have a lot of pictures taken without a good way to post them online easily. The first day I went through Franklin Park I took over a hundred pictures, and Sunday I took another 80+ pictures. I could post them to Instagram but even posting them without filters will take a lot of time. There’s also the fact that some pictures don’t lend themselves to being cropped to a square without cutting something from them picture. I’ve posted pictures like that to Twitter, but again that’s a time-intensive process.

Since the pictures are part of my writing I’ve decided to post them here, on the site I created to promote and support my writing. I can’t promise how often I’ll post pictures, but you’ll know when I post them when the post title starts with “TestPics.” Why “TestPics?” The camera I’m using, the camera on an Alcatel OneTouch Fierce mobile phone, isn’t a great camera. In fact, its poor picture quality is one of the things panned about the phone. If I launch a second Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of my Franklin Park photo book I would get a better quality camera than this one, even if it is part of a smartphone to limit the number of things I have to carry when I go take pictures.

This first batch of pictures I’m posting here are of the scenic overlook along Jewish War Veterans Drive/Circuit Drive near Schoolmaster Hill. If it’s not on Hagborne Hill it’s close to it. I took the pictures on Sunday, 4 January 2015. It was a cloudy, wet  coldish day and I had gone to Scarboro Hill to make some notes on the seven plagues there. I had taken some pictures there on my very first Franklin Park photo day back on 21 December, but my phone’s battery died after a handful of pictures on Scarboro Hill.

After making my notes I was on my way to the golf course clubhouse to use their restroom before heading to Jamaica Pond. (I usually go to Jamaica Pond on Sundays to charge my phone on the Soofa solar charging bench and to use the free Wi-Fi there.) When I got to Jewish War Veterans Drive I saw a set of steps, part of the park’s 99 Steps, and I stopped to take your picture of them. (The picture isn’t as sharp as I’d like but it’s the best I could get with this camera.)

Franklin Park steps between Ellicott Arch and Schoolmaster Hill (not the start of the 99 Steps) (taken on 4 Jan 2015)

Somehow I’ve walked past those steps I don’t even know how many times, on both sides of the street, and I didn’t know those steps were there.

As I was on my way back from the clubhouse I was walking the Wilderness path just west of those steps when I found a scenic overlook. Again, I had walked past it several times without it registering on my mind, the very kind of thing that inspired my desire to make the Franklin Park photo book in the first place.

Franklin Park Wilderness Overlook (taken on 4 Jan 2015)

The overlook is across Jewish War Veterans Drive and just east of the Ellicottdale softball diamond. It’s also just east of the Ellicott Arch. There isn’t that much to see, and I suspect the trees between the overlook and the street may have been added at some time after the park opened. The overload looks to be part of the original plans for the Wildernesses since it’s at the top of a series of Roxbury puddingstone steps just on west side of the overlook, and at the top of those steps is a You Are Here map plaque that helps you see where it fits into the overall park.

Franklin Park Wilderness Overlook You Are Here map (taken on 4 Jan 2015)

Even with the trees blocking the view it’s still a nice place to take a break and look around. When the leaves fill in this spring it will block a lot of the view but there are a couple of small boulders to sit on if you need to rest after climbing the section of the 99 Steps between there and the Ellicott Arch.

There’s something to see on the back side of the overlook: a very large downed tree.

The fallen tree at the Franklin Park Wilderness Overlook (taken on 4 Jan 2015)


The base of the tree stands about four feet ten inches. I know that not because I measured it but because as you can see in this image it comes to just below my shoulder, which is how tall my late ex-wife was.

Height reference for the fallen tree at the Franklin Park  Wilderness Overlook (taken on 20 Jan 2015)

I hope you enjoy the other pictures of the overlook. I’ll be creating a gallery like this for all my TestPics posts.

I have some more pictures taken, but watch in the next few days for a poll letting you tell me which area of Franklin Park you want to see TestPics of next. I just need to create a map showing what all the areas are and then it’ll go online.

2 thoughts on “TestPics: Wilderness Overlook near Schoolmaster Hill

  1. […] Drive is where I take pictures of the white oak in Ellicottdale, and the one above it is the Wildern... https://jmhardinwrites.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/testpics-fh-corner
  2. […] I’ve also found there are other names for the Forest Hills Corner and the hill where the Wilde... https://jmhardinwrites.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/testpics-schoolmaster-hill-terrace

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