ORANGE — Paul Anderson was surprised when we stopped at his Trail Head outfitter’s store in the middle of town and told him we’d come from Cambridge. “This area is like a no man’s land,” the former Burlington police officer said. “Eastern Mass. doesn’t know it exists. From Concord west, nothing registers until the Berkshires.”
Anderson is a real booster for the communities and wild spaces that arc around the north rim of the Quabbin Reservoir, and he’s not alone. The nine towns of Athol, Erving, New Salem, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Warwick, and Wendell have banded together in the North Quabbin Woods initiative to let the world (or at least Eastern Massachusetts) in on their secrets.